By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles homicide rate dropped last year but Police Chief Charlie Beck says there’s still work to do in lowering the death rate.

Figures released Wednesday show there were 282 reported homicides, down 4 percent from 2016.

Nearly 63 percent of those killings were gang-related, showing an upward spike.

The LAPD says most of the victims and suspects were Hispanics and African-Americans.

The homeless population also was affected, with 44 victims and 33 suspects.

The good news is that the homicide rate has improved dramatically, dropping by more than half from 1997.

Chief Beck says L.A. residents are safer than they’ve ever been but, in his words, “we’re not safe enough.”

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