Public Safety

STATUS: Enhances human development

How do we know what’s good when it comes to public safety?

1 per capita crime rates, and 2 perceptions of crime and safety.

Safety and security is “a core element for the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.”213 Crime can lead to loss of life and property; it has detrimental physical and mental health consequences; it can reduce economic productivity; and, most detrimentally, it creates a pervasive feeling of vulnerability.214

The current state of Public Safety:

Los Angeles’ crime rate has steadily declined over the past two decades.

Nearly every type of offense – including robberies, rapes, burglaries and thefts – continue to decline in spite of the economic downturn.201

Crime rates per capita vary widely throughout the city. In Watts there are 310 violent crimes per 10,000 people; in Bel-Air there are two per 10,000 people.202

“It is a tale of two very different cities. For middle class people who are always safe, it is very hard to imagine they live in a county where 700,000-800,000 children experience chronic exposure to trauma.”

—Connie Rice, Author and Co-Director, The Advancement Project

Higher rates of ethnic diversity trends are associated with increased perceptions of safety in both neighborhoods204 and schools.205

Foreign-born residents and recent immigrants are less likely to commit and be victims of crime.206

Crime rates have reached historic lows, with the homicide rate in 2010 the lowest since 1966.


U.S. born men “are incarcerated at a rate over two-and-a-half times greater than that of foreign-born men.”207


Crime rates have reached historic lows, with the homicide rate in 2010 the lowest since 1966. 

In the case of public safety, racial diversity is one of Los Angeles’ greatest assets.

What does public safety look like in 2050?

Public Safety in 2050 is also anticipated to “enhance human development.” Given the correlation between a youthful population and the incidence of crime290, a Los Angeles comprised of many more older residents in 2050 will likely see crime rates drop further. The experience of crime and perceptions of safety throughout the region are still anticipated to vary widely based on geographic and socioeconomic factors.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding public safety? Share it with us in the comments or use the hashtag #LA2050.