Leap Comments on Ebb and Flow of Crime

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap was featured in a Wrap article about the rise of violent crime in Los Angeles. Many homeowners in wealthy areas are investing in private security to protect their homes and families, especially after well-publicized home invasion robberies and the recent homicide of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant in Beverly Hills. However, Leap noted that violent crime strikes poorer neighborhoods more than affluent ones. “For every one Jacqueline Avant, there are probably 50 to 100 [homicides] in poor areas,” Leap said. Homicides in Los Angeles were the highest last year since 2006, but Leap noted that they are still much lower than in the mid-1980s and ’90s. She explained that the ongoing pandemic and resulting uncertainty, the 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody and subsequent civil unrest, plus the easy availability of guns have all contributed to people feeling more anxious, which leads to higher crime rates.

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