Crime is on the rise this year in Los Angeles and other major cities across the U.S. So far this year in Los Angeles there have been 251 homicides, compared to 225 during the same time frame last year. It's still too early to pinpoint what's driving the increased violence across the country and in Los Angeles, says Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society. She said there could be a number of contributing factors, including easier access to guns, the poverty rate, a new state law that reduced penalties for certain crimes, and a growing distrust of police, which can contribute to retaliatory violence."If you don't see the police as a viable option when you have a problem, then you handle things on your own," Kubrin said.