Police arrests are plummeting across California, fueling alarm and questions
| LA Times
“In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.
Police officers began making fewer arrests. The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department’s arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015.
It is unclear why officers are making fewer arrests. Some in law enforcement cite diminished manpower and changes in deployment strategies. Others say officers have lost motivation in the face of increased scrutiny — from the public as well as their supervisors.
The picture is further complicated by Proposition 47, a November 2014 ballot measure that downgraded some drug and property felonies to misdemeanors. Many police officers say an arrest isn’t worth the time it takes to process when the suspect will spend at most a few months in jail.
In Los Angeles, the drop in arrests comes amid a persistent increase in crime, which began in 2014. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck noted that arrests for the most serious crimes have risen along with the numbers of those offenses, while the decrease comes largely from narcotics arrests.
The arrest data include both felonies and misdemeanors — crimes ranging from homicide to disorderly conduct. From 2010 to 2015, felony arrests made by Los Angeles police officers were down 29% and misdemeanor arrests were down 32%.
Two other measures of police productivity, citations and field interviews, have also declined significantly.
The LAPD could not provide final tallies for arrests in 2016. But based on numbers that include arrests by other agencies within city limits, the downward trend continued last year, Assistant Chief Michel Moore said.
A direct link between the crime pattern and the drop in arrests is difficult to draw, in part because the arrest data include minor offenses not counted in the tally the city uses to measure crime. Still, some city officials are concerned.
“Those are dramatic numbers that definitely demand scrutiny and explanation,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who sits on the Public Safety Committee and represents the Westside. “If crime was dramatically down, I wouldn’t have a problem with arrests going down. But if crime is going up, I want to see arrests going up.”
“Not to make fun of it, but a lot of guys are like, ‘Look, I’m just going to act like a fireman.’ I’m going to handle my calls for service and the things that I have to do,” said George Hofstetter, a motorcycle deputy in Pico Rivera and former president of the union representing L.A. County sheriff’s deputies. “But going out there and making traffic stops and contacting persons who may be up to something nefarious? ‘I’m not going to do that anymore.’”
LAPD officers are troubled by contentious demonstrations at Police Commission meetings and by public criticism of their colleagues for using deadly force, said Robert Harris, a police officer on the LAPD union’s board of directors.
“Suddenly, you feel like you can’t do any police work, because every opportunity that you have might turn into the next big media case,” Harris said. “Of course, you’re going to take stock a little bit more, I think, before you put yourself out there like that.”
The recent decline in police activity is not limited to arrests: The number of field interview cards, or FI cards, written by officers has plummeted at both the LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
The cards document some encounters between police and civilians that stop short of an arrest or citation. They are a tool sometimes used to keep track of gang members and other suspected criminals.
Field interviews conducted by Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies have also been in steep decline, falling by 67% from 2012 to 2016. Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the drop-off is probably connected to the elimination of many gang enforcement teams due to budget cuts. But the trend is worrisome, he said, because the cards are useful in documenting the movements of potential suspects.
It would be “naive” to think the national debate over policing hasn’t affected the Sheriff’s Department, McDonnell said. Nevertheless, he said, his deputies are not shying away from potentially dangerous situations.
The number of citations, which includes traffic violations and other types of tickets, issued by LAPD officers also fell sharply, from almost 600,000 in 2010 to about 269,500 five years later. The biggest drop came in 2015, when police issued roughly 154,000 fewer citations than the year before.”
………Continue reading more of the thought-provoking article by: James Queally, Kate Mather and Cindy Chang | Contact Reporters @ LA Times
Arrests in California Are Way Down and Residents Want to Know Why
| PJ Media
“Some shocking statistics on arrests by California police between 2013 and 2015 have residents worried and experts scrambling for answers.
Arrests by the Los Angeles Police Department fell by 25% between 2013 and 2015 with similar drops all across the state. Not surprisingly, the crime rate has risen during the same period of time.
Does anyone besides 5-year-olds and liberals believe that a declining arrest rate leads to a declining crime rate? Sheesh.
It’s easy to draw sweeping conclusions from singular factors like increased scrutiny of the police and lax enforcement. But sometimes, the most obvious causes reveal a truth. Is it an accident that arrests plummeted after a spate of high-profile police shootings nationwide? Or that crime has risen because repeat offenders are allowed to walk and commit more crimes?
Liberals will want to overthink this problem because acknowledging the above would basically invalidate their views on crime and criminals. But it’s not rocket science when you add it all together; fewer cops, downgrading serious crime, and disrespecting police logically leads to law enforcement officers less willing to expose themselves to danger and more willing to look the other way.”
….Continue reading more @ PJ Media
Britain to Create ‘Jihadi Jail’ to Stop Islamists Radicalising Fellow Inmates
“Britain’s most dangerous Islamists will be housed in a special unit to stop them converting their fellow inmates.
The Times reports work is currently under way at HMP Frankland near Durham, which will have a “prison within a prison” to keep Islamic extremists away from other prisoners.
The prison has already been home to some of Britain’s most notorious terrorists including Tanvir Hussain, who tried to use liquid bottles to blow up flights from Heathrow to the United States, and Dhiren Barot, who was behind a plot to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” in Britain.
Michael Adebolajo, who murdered soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London, was also transferred to the prison after fears he was radicalising inmates at HMP Belmarsh.
The plans follow a report by former prison governor Ian Acheson, who recommended that some extremists who present a “particular and enduring risk to national security through subversive behaviour, beliefs and activities” should be removed from the general prison population.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said: “Islamist extremism is a danger to society and a threat to public safety – it must be defeated wherever it is found. We are committed to confronting and countering the spread of this poisonous ideology behind bars.”
….Continue reading more @ Breitbart