Posted on 11 March 2016 by La Habra Journal
By Rachel Rohm
La Habra Journal
After one of the lowest years in several decades, property crimes in La Habra increased by 21 percent from 2014 to 2015.
There were 1,282 property crimes in La Habra in 2015, compared to 1,054 in 2014. Property crimes are those which take or damage a piece of property but do not inflict any bodily harm to the victim, including burglary, theft, auto theft and arson. The city had just one more violent crime in 2015 (104) than 2014 (103), meaning that they have stayed relatively flat. “We’re keeping crime low, but if you’re that one victim of a crime, one crime is way too many,” La Habra Police Chief Jerry Price said. Last year is more in line with La Habra’s five-year and 10-year averages, 1,331 and 1,457, respectively. Both categories are included in Part I crimes, which the FBI tracks. Comparing 2015 to 2014, there is an overall 19.8 percent increase in Part I crimes. While it’s never good to see an increase in crime, this is more a return to normalcy than a cause for alarm. While crime is never predictable and there are many contributing factors to crime rates, Price did indicate some potential causes of the rise in property crimes. In an effort to combat prison overcrowding, the state of California has passed legislation for earlier release times, looser parole rules and even the declassification of certain offenses. For example, in 2014, Proposition 47 reduced some felonies to misdemeanors, limiting the amount of time authorities can hold the perpetrator in custody.
Because this detracts from the punishment that a guilty party will receive, law enforcement agencies say has lead to repeated offenders.
See CRIME Page 7 From Page 1 La Habra police hope to work in partnership with the residents to keep La Habra a safe community, and they have several programs already in place.
The department holds Crime Reduction Strategy meetings where supervisors meet together to track ongoing crime trends, neighborhood watch concerns, traffic and quality of life issues.
They look for solutions to the crimes, making sure to employ resources appropriately so they can respond to current crime trends quickly and hopefully put an end to them. The department also has a “see something, say something” campaign, encouraging residents to report suspicious activity. This alertness is especially needed in shopping areas, where most of the commercial robberies have occurred. In order to keep residents informed, the La Habra Police Department stays active on social media, including a Facebook page. The LHPD Tips app, available on both Apple and Android platforms, allows the public to submit tips regarding a particular crime or even suspicious activity. There is also a Citizens Academy course coming up on April 6th. La Habra residents (18 years and up) can learn all about what the department does by enrolling in the six-week program, which meets for three hours one night per week. The application form is available through the department’s website.
Price explained that in order to be successful, it will take a combined effort of the police department an the community. “We’ve got a good community here in La Habra, but we need the residents to work with us.”