Comparing characteristics of gang-related and other homicides in Los Angeles County from 2010-11 using CalEVDRS data
Rates of violence have been decreasing nationwide since the 1990s. Some communities remain disproportionately impacted, particularly youth and young adults ages 15-24. We compared characteristics of gang-related and other homicides in Los Angeles County (LAC) using 2010-2011 data.
Using data from the California Electronic Violent Death Reporting System (CalEVDRS), a state system modeled after NVDRS, we compared demographics and circumstances of gang-related with other homicides occurring in LAC from 2010-2011. Geography of these violent deaths was also compared, including zip code-level distribution of high rates, and proximity of victim injury location to residence location.
There were a total of 1,195 homicides in Los Angeles County from 2010-2011; 35% of these were gang-related. Gang-related homicide victims were more likely to be age 15-29 (75% versus 39%), Black or Hispanic/Latino (95% versus 78%), male (95% versus 77%) and involve a firearm (97% versus 65%) compared with other homicides. Gang-related homicides were also more likely to take place on a street/sidewalk/alley, occur in the late evening, and on weekends. Gang-related homicides were more geographically concentrated than other homicides. The proximity of injury location to victim residence was similar for both groups.
Characteristics of gang-related homicides are unique. Local geographical patterns and trends of homicides and comparison of youth victims and adults can help understand changing trends in gang-related crime and warrant further analysis. Surveillance systems like CalEVDRS are critical to identify local hot spots, common precipitating circumstances and develop targeted prevention and intervention strategies.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Compare the different characteristics of gang-related homicides and other-homicides in Los Angeles County. Describe an example of how surveillance systems like CalEVDRS and NVDRS are critical to monitor local trends to inform prevention and intervention strategies.
Keyword(s): Youth Violence, Epidemiology
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Staff Analyst at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Injury & Violence Program. For the past 6 years, I have served as the lead staff person conducting and project management focused on community violence prevention. Key projects include general surveillance of assaults and homicides, providing technical assistance for local gang and youth violence prevention initiatives, and helping to establish the Los Angeles County Violent Death Reporting System.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.