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LA County Proposes Crackdown on RV Encampments After Spike In Crime

From Zuma to Dockweiler, along rural highways outside Palmdale and on many streets of Los Angeles County, you have probably seen RV encampments.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to take steps to break up RV encampments that have proven to be hot spots for crime and blight and provide safe overnight parking.

“The amount of crime that has increased around RV encampments is unprecedented. The sheriff’s department reported a 68% increase regarding crime within and around RV encampments. We need to address with absolute urgency for the health and safety of all of our residents.” Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

Supervisor Holly Mitchell recommended updating data on locations where crime has increased around RV encampments and also encampments within 500 feet of schools.

"The County must update the recommendations and re-evaluate our approach to addressing RV encampments across the County” Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

During the last 24 months, there has been an extraordinary growth of RV encampments that has caused a detrimental impact on the quality of life for residents and businesses around the RV encampments.

Dilapidated RV’s

According to the Vehicular Homeless Outreach Project (VHOP) team, 40 percent of RV’s were dilapidated and in need of towing and removal; 30 percent were mobile but unhealthy, and 20 percent were mobile and in good condition. The VHOP pointed out that many RV's had been illegally acquired from junkyards and rented out to the homeless. These RVs are bought sometimes without the necessary documentation, rented to the homeless and used to run an underground economy in which the homeless are physically abused and threatened.

What's Next

A report is expected back in 90 days to include:

  • The number of RVs that have been illegally obtained, that have missing plates or Vehicle Identification Numbers, whose owners cannot be identified, or that are deemed hazardous and unsafe. The costs to tow and dismantle these RVs.

  • Hot spots in or around RV encampments where an increase in crime has been documented or increased criminal activity has been reported.

  • Identify hot spot RV encampment areas within 500 feet of schools.

  • An inventory of parking restrictions currently in place in all hot spot RV encampment areas identified above, an assessment of parking enforcement efforts at these locations, and identification of resources needed to improve parking enforcement efforts.

  • Recommendations to update County towing vendors to ensure compliance against the lien sale of hazardous RVs by lien holders for low-value RVs (valued at $500 or less).


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