Crime falling in W. Houston due to increased security

June 11, 2010 4:34:56 PM PDT
People fed up with crime in west Houston are taking a stand against it. They're now using cameras to keep an eye out for thieves, and so far, it appears to be making a difference. The cameras are just part of an overall initiative. Security is also getting beefed up in the Westchase District near Beltway 8 and Westheimer.

Two years ago, the Westchase District began investing in a lot of different resources to fight crime. Those efforts now appear to be paying off. While certain types of non-violent crimes are up citywide, they are way down right there.

As a hair stylist, there's one thing Christina Zawacki knows. Customers are just as conscious about their safety as they are about their hair.

"I would love for everyone to feel safe and to come here and enjoy it," said Zawacki.

The salon and day spa where she works is in the Carillon, one of the first shopping centers in the Westchase district to use a mobile surveillance camera system. Two and half years ago, there were two. Today, there are 14 units spread out across the district.

While our exclusive Crime Tracker shows a slight increase in violent crimes, non-violent crimes in Westchase are down and vehicle break-ins are down by a whopping 29 percent.

"If you come to this area and you commit a crime, we're gonna follow it through," said shopper Dot Pickens.

She's right. In addition to the mobile cameras and part-time security patrols, Westchase has hired four part-time investigators.

"They'll actually review every report on those crimes that happen within the district's boundaries, look for any leads, any trends, develop suspects," said Mark Hubanek with the Westchase District.

Taking down one criminal off the streets could have a big impact on the number of crimes committed. The cameras are just part of the equation.

"Obviously it's a little bit of invasion of privacy but I think the good outweighs the bad in this situation," said shopper Nikki King.

The Westchase District has also placed signs throughout the districts to remind you to watch your valuables in your car and to secure your vehicle at all times.


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