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Los Angeles crime down for 10th year in a row

An LAPD patrol car and two officers are seen in this file photo.

July 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A decade-long decline in crime rates continues in the city of Los Angeles, according to the latest statistics released by the city on Wednesday.

For the first six months of the year, violent crime was down 8.8 percent to 8,999 compared to the first half of 2011.

The total number of gang-related crimes was down more than 16 percent for the same time period.

But it wasn't all good news. The number of reported rapes rose by 3.6 percent, and figures showed a 2.7 percent surge in car break-ins and 2.6 percent increase in personal thefts.

Still, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called Los Angeles the safest big city in the country. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the city is safer than it has been since 1952, calling the decade of crime reduction a "historic positive trend."

City News Service contributed to this report.