[Hpn] Homeless arrests tumble in Los Angeles
William Charles Tinker
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.