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Downtown LA gentrification met with dramatic crime increase

It’s no longer a secret that downtown Los Angeles has become one of the hippest areas to live in throughout the city. But that rapid rise in popularity as the new cool place to be hasn’t arrived without its own set of issues.

Downtown Los Angeles is a perfect storm, of sorts, for crime as the forceful wave of gentrification meets decades of deep-rooted poverty, homelessness and drugs. The juxtaposition of the two stark realities is readily apparent on any visit to downtown, where hip eateries and luxury lofts exist just blocks from Skid Row.

In fact, data shows that violent crime in the Police Department's Central Division, which covers parts of downtown, skid row and Chinatown, was up more than 57 percent through the end of August compared with the same period last year, and property offenses increased nearly 25 percent, per the Los Angeles Times.

“The police presence … in that area clearly is insufficient for the crime that is going on there,” said LAPD Capt. Don Graham, despite acknowledging the addition of more officers over the years.

The volume of trends of both violent and property crime detailed in the LA Times report – as shown by this interactive map – are downright alarming.

Although any neighborhood – urban or otherwise – can look sunny and pristine from the outside, every potential homeowner should do their due diligence on crime rates as part of the decision to purchase.

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