[Hpn] Homeless arrests tumble in Los Angeles

William Charles Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 18 Aug 2006 05:54:50 -0400


Homeless arrests tumble in Los Angeles

Aug 17, 2006

LOS ANGELES, CA, United States (UPI) -- Cleaning up Skid Row in Los Angeles 
is proving to be a tough nut to crack.

The Los Angeles Police Department`s much-heralded crackdown on crime on 
downtown Los Angeles` skid row is showing signs of faltering, with arrests 
plummeting and a new police survey showing a threefold increase in the 
number of homeless encampments in the district.

The Los Angeles Times said Thursday that the LAPD`s downtown Central 
Division reported a 23-percent drop in arrests this year compared to 
relatively flat statistics for the entire city. At the same time, however, 
the overall crime rate in the division appears down about 16 percent.

The city launched a concerted effort to cut crime in the Skid Row area last 
fall. Downtown is seeing a fledgling gentrification in areas that until 
recently were the domain of the down and out once the sun went down.

Police Chief Bill Bratton said that a plan to add 50 officers to Central had 
stalled due to planning issues, and administrative problems had forced the 
department to suspend a 'catch and release' program in which minor offenders 
were issued a court summons rather than being hauled off to jail.