If you ask people who work in Downtown Los Angeles if they think crime has increased in the central city area many will tell it has. They've seen assaults and, as one woman told us, all kinds of "crazy things" every day.
By: Hal Eisner
LAPD Captains Mike Oreb and Don Graham are part of Central Division command staff. They say crime has increased in their area. Reports have the increase as much as 200% or more in some parts of Downtown. Also increasing are the homeless. Oreb says "Narcotics seems to be the reason many of them are here along with mental illness."
Crime isn't new Downtown, but like the rest of the city it has increased dramatically. Downtown has increased more than other others and even though police have added more foot patrols Captain Graham says, "the outcome is still that somebody gets punched in the face randomly as they're walking down the street."
Bottomline, says Carol Schatz with the Central City Association, until the city, the county and the state really deals with the causes of this crime... this is an issue that all communities are going to be facings.
Those causes, she says, include the increase in the homeless and mentally ill population Downtown and convicts released to the streets because of jail overcrowding.