Houston Officials Tout Positive Crime Statistics

Houston's crime rate is flat — according to Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Police Department. The city released numbers comparing the past six years of crime statistics and they show an overall decline in crime.

Mayor Parker and HPD Chief Charles McClelland released the numbers comparing the total amount of Part One crimes,
which includes violent crimes and serious property crimes. They compared the numbers from 2007, 2008 and 2009 to those in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

When compared in those three-year blocks, crime is down about eight percent.

Chief McClelland says 2011 and 2012 have some of the lowest crime rates in decades.

"Three things must be present before a crime takes place: You need a victim, you need a suspect and you need an opportunity. At the Houston Police Department, we develop strategies to address all three."

The city showed declines over the past three years in every category compared to the previous three years, with the best
results in the areas of murder, robbery and auto theft. However, there were still 217 murders in Houston in 2012, 19 more than the year before.

Mayor Parker acknowledges the reality that overall crime reduction is little consolation to those who have suffered.

"The overall crime statistics are meaningless to someone who has been the personal victim of a crime. And each of us standing here understands that. If it happens to you, that's one crime too many. But we want to continue to send the message that this is a safe city, that we take these issues very seriously, and that we work every day to make sure that all types of crime in Houston are addressed."

HPD uses real-time crime information from its 24/7 crime center to identify hot spots and trends. McClelland says that technology allows them to deploy resources to areas where crime is popping up.

"We try very hard to make sure that we constantly work on those three factors that can cause a crime. Myself and my command staff meet bi-weekly and we go over every hot spot, every crime that happened in the city."

Violent crime rose slightly in 2012 over 2011 but was still lower than the previous years. Non-violent crime remained flat compared to last year.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...