Even since the economy began stalling several years ago, there have been dire warnings that crime would rise.
But in Southern California, crime continues its long decline despite the weak economy. Indeed, 2011 brought new worries about a "double dip recession," yet streets in many parts of the region were the safest they've been in decades.
The trend continues to puzzle some criminologists but has reinforced the view of many in law enforcement that factors other than the economy determine the rise or fall of crime.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said crime rates are determined largely by how well police do their job and the "informal social standards" set by communities — that is, what kind of behavior people are willing to tolerate from others.
-- Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Photo: L.A. County Sheriff personnel investigate a reported shooting at an appartment complex, center, on the 4500 block of Lasheart Ave. in La Cañada-Flintridge, across the street from City Hall on Friday, October 16, 2009. Credit: Times Community News