In Houston the violent crime figures have significantly decreased, while the non-violent crime rate is virtually unchanged with a 1 percent increase. Uniformed Crime Reports (UCR) show that from July 2007 to March 2008 total part 1 crimes were down only about 1 percent in comparison to the same nine month period of 2008 to 2009 which reveals a decrease of almost 7 percent in violent crimes in Houston.
UCR crime stats further indicate that an examination of the first three months of 2009 (January - March) compared to the same period of 2008, violent crimes have declined by 8 percent in Houston. More importantly, the murder rate has dropped significantly by almost 22% from January to April 27, 2009, compared to the same period of 2008. Additionally, as of March 2009, gang murders were down 47 percent from the same time period one year ago.
UCR defines violent crime as murders, rapes, robbery and aggravated assault, while non-violent crimes are identified as property crimes, burglary and auto theft.
"While the city has made progress in reducing violent crime, we must remain vigilant in continuing our efforts to combat overall crime in the city," said Houston Police Department Chief Harold Hurtt. "Fighting and controlling crime takes a coordinated and team effort involving citizens, businesses and police."
With the dip in violent crimes in Houston, citizens must be mindful that the recession will continue to present challenges.
"As the economy goes down," says Hurtt, "burglary and theft will increase, therefore to keep Houston safe, we are asking all citizens to take precautions in securing their homes, belongings and cars."
Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes