Houston crime rate continues to plunge

HOUSTON Compared to the first six months of 2010, total reported crime -- in UCR Part One violent and nonviolent categories -- has decreased by 11 percent, building on last year's already lower total crime statistics.

Violent crime has decreased 9.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago, police said. Murders are down 37.1 percent, which they said is a significantly lower rate in comparison to 2010.

There was a 7.8 percent increase in rapes from January to June 2011 as compared to January to June 2010. This was the only category with an increase, police said.

Police said robberies plummeted 20.8 percent and nonviolent crimes decreased 11.3 percent, with a 12.4 percent drop in auto thefts.

In breaking down thefts in the city, vehicle burglaries are down 15.29 percent for the first six months of 2011 and residence burglaries are down 9.5 percent, compared to the same period last year.

The most preventable of crimes are burglaries of homes and vehicles. Police attribute the drops in these areas to the increased vigilance of citizens as more people lock their vehicles, remove valuables from their cars and take precautions to protect their homes.

HPD Chief Charles McClelland Jr. praises the continued efforts of his officers and the citizens of Houston.

Mayor Annise Parker also celebrated the new numbers, posting the following on Twitter on Monday: "Good news on Htown crime rate. We are a safer city, thanks to men & women in blue and the many private citizens who step in to help!-a"

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