While Sugar Land's overall crime rate has declined from 27.47 per capita in 2005 to 24.68 in 2009, the City's crime rate slightly increased from 23.68 in 2008 to 24.68 in 2009.
"There's been a perception in the community fueled by a few high-profile crimes that we are experiencing a sharp rise in crime," said Police Chief Doug Brinkley. "The data clearly shows that our overall crime rate has remained mostly flat over the last several years. The slight increase we saw last year is due to several non-violent crime categories, including shoplifting and vehicle burglaries."
The following factors contributed to a 5.3 percent increase in property crimes during 2009:
Several police initiatives were implemented last year to address property crimes, including a partnership with retail districts and neighborhoods to encourage the use cameras for security purposes. SLPD also created a task force that focused exclusively on vehicle burglaries, shopper safety and public education.
"Our priority is to ensure our community is safe, and I believe we have effectively accomplished this through departmental priorities that include enforcement, partnerships, technology and quality staffing," said Brinkley. "However, it's also important that citizens feel safe, so we have developed a plan to more effectively communicate directly with our citizens."
While the number of high-profile incidents declined from 2008 to 2009 (i.e., seven driveway robberies in 2008 compared to five in 2009 and five home invasions in 2008 compared to four in 2009), feedback from the public seemed to indicate a concern with increased crime in Sugar Land compared to other areas.
SLPD continues to offer crime data online through a Daily Crime Report tool that allows citizens to search for criminal activity near specific addresses. The new tool provides a visual representation of exactly where crimes have occurred in Sugar Land neighborhoods.