It’s interesting to learn what some people collect and keep track of.

Some collect rocks, some collect dolls or cars or stamps and some collect data.

One of our subscribers and frequent letters to the editor contributor is one of the latter. He collects crime data, to be exact.

He keeps handwritten charts of each crime reported in the Antelope Valley Police blotter, published daily in the Antelope Valley Press. After six months or so, he brings his findings in to the office, so we, too, can keep track.

Recently, he brought in data from Jan. 1 to July 31, 2019. The information was quite interesting. According to his calculations, the following crimes occurred:

1,199 assaults in Lancaster, 612 in Palmdale;

334 burglaries in Lancaster, 221 in Palmdale;

232 robberies in Lancaster, 118 in Palmdale;

225 thefts from vehicles in Lancaster, 224 in Palmdale;

596 thefts in Lancaster, 432 in Palmdale;

288 vehicle thefts in Lancaster, 215 in Palmdale;

30 rapes in Lancaster, 12 in Palmdale;

25 arsons in Lancaster, 7 in Palmdale; and

6 murders in Lancaster, 2 in Palmdale.

Palmdale and Lancaster are just a few miles apart, but in looking at these statistics, they might as well be worlds apart. Lancaster clearly has more crime than its counterpart, but that’s something folks seem to already know. Clearly, our data collector noticed this, too, and began keeping track.

What makes Lancaster more prone to crime than Palmdale? That’s a question we’re very curious about, but don’t have the answer to.

Some point to the homeless population in Lancaster, as contributing to the crime rate, but it’s not just them. It would be interesting to find out how many homeless were involved in violent crimes such as murder, rape or assault.

The city has a problem that needs to be fixed. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, in a TV interview, a few months ago, said it was his job to protect the residents of Lancaster. He made the comment when referring to homeless people, who might commit burglaries or thefts. He suggested that residents arm themselves and shoot the homeless, if necessary.

That’s not going to solve anything, will it? It’ll just add to our frequent reader’s data collection.

Shouldn’t he be more concerned with coming up with a plan to reduce violent crime — and crime, in general — in his city? The police can only do so much with the resources and personnel they have. In fact, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is short-staffed in Palmdale and Lancaster, so having deputies in every area of each city at all times is highly unlikely.

What can be done to reduce crime in the Antelope Valley? We’d like to hear from our readers in the form of letters to the editor. Let us know what you think can be done and whether you agree with the data.

(1) comment

Steve Nevil

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau should provide an explanation for you.

Most recent Economic Census figures show:

Total Health Care and Social Assistance Receipts:

Palmdale - $228,740,000.00

Lancaster - $1,260,159,000.00

That's over 5 TIMES as much money going out to SSI and welfare recipients, with a difference in population of less than four thousand people.

Demographic analysis aside (and there is a MUCH more distinct color line in Lancaster), you are seeing social conflict based on poverty.

That data is over six years old, and any resident of the city knows the problem has gotten DRAMATICALLY worse.

I don't like Parris personally, but he has definitely identified the problem.

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