UNITED STATES—The unavoidable reality of life in modern Los Angeles is that crime is on the increase, with everything from burglaries to homicides spiking in the past couple of years.

Every big city has its issues, but understanding why LA’s positive progress towards lower levels of criminal activity has reversed is important for residents right now.

Let’s look at some of the factors at play, and what you can do to deal with the fallout of the current crime-addled social climate.

Pandemic-related problems

While there is much debate around how criminals should be dealt with, one undeniable fact is that the disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis has been at least partly to blame for LA’s criminal conundrum.

Policies introduced to help cope with the pandemic have meant that suspects arrested for nonviolent offenses have often been set free prior to their trials without needing to go through the bail process.

In some cases this has given them the opportunity to reoffend in the interim, with the wealthier areas of the city facing an especially intense bout of break-ins since 2020.

What if you’re accused of a crime you didn’t commit?

One concern of lots of residents is false accusations being leveled against them. As with any kind of criminal charges being brought to bear on you, having a qualified, experienced lawyer on your side as soon as possible is essential.

Of course if you don’t live in LA, you’ll need to find a local lawyer. For instance, if you live in New Jersey, you’ll need a firm like Middlesexcountycriminallaw.com to represent your interests and guide you effectively.

Imperfect imprisonment

Another, deeper rooted factor related to the rise of crime in LA is that of how prisons themselves are run. The authorities have been accused of effectively treating them as warehouses into which convicted crooks are placed, without adequate focus on rehabilitation.

This means that when they re-emerge into civilized society at the end of their sentence, most are not fit to make a positive contribution to the outside world, which perpetuates criminal activities and cements them as a way of life for many in the poorer areas of the city.

Criticism of progressive policies

Some of LA’s citizens believe that progressive policies governing crime and punishment introduced in recent years are resulting in the crime wave being experienced today.

The view that harsher sentences and tougher conditions will disincentivize criminals is widely held, and yet may not have the firmest foundation in fact.

Simply put, there is no quick fix for this, and rolling back changes seems to misunderstand the more likely causes of rising crime, including increased inequality, political instability and the aforementioned pandemic.

Gaining some perspective

An important point to make is that crime statistics are often reported on in a somewhat sensationalist way.

While a rise in certain types of violent crime is obviously cause for concern, it is still the case that modern LA is safer than it was two or three decades ago, and progress is being made on the whole, even if there have been some unforeseen setbacks recently.

So you don’t need to run out and buy a gun to protect yourself, or spend thousands on a new home security system. You are more likely to need a lawyer if you are falsely accused of a crime, as mentioned earlier, than you are of being the victim of a violent crime instead.

Level-headed precautions should still be made, but it’s also unwise to treat LA like some kind of dystopian example of urban decay.