Report: Crime up in 2012 in Sugar Land area

March 6, 2013 4:41:51 PM PST
New statistics are out on crime in Sugar Land. Violent crime rose in 2012, but police say that doesn't tell the whole story.

In 2011, Sugar Land enjoyed its lowest year of crime stats on record. A year later, crime was on the rise, but the city's top brass says they are still on par to be on of the safest cities in the country.

Sugar Land is just 25 miles to the southwest of Houston. Even though it is looking at an overall decrease in crimes over the last half decade, it's battling a slight uptick in crime during the last 12 to 14 months.

Once if the city's most recent victims is its own police chief, Douglas Brinkley.

"Our home was actually burglarized about two weeks ago," Brinkley said. "So it really gives me a different perspective, because now I know what it is to be a victim of a crime."

In 2012 Sugar Land saw an 8.6 percent increase in Part 1 crimes. Those include homicide, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, auto theft and theft, with home burglaries accounting for most of the increase.

Chief Brinkley says it's part of a larger trend in the greater area.

"For the last 12 to 14 months, we seen an increase in home break-ins. And I think you see the same trend in Houston and also the Fort Bend region so that has been our main focus this last year," he said.

However, the 2012 uptick, cannot erase the average of decreases over the last fives years in Part 1 crimes because they are still down 18 percent since 2008.

Those statistics still make the city of about 84,000 people one of the safest.

"We are the second-safest city in Texas and 20th in the nation," Sugar Land City Manager Allen Bogard said.

Chief Brinkley attributes the drop in crime over the last five years to newly forged partnerships.

"We did a lot of partnerships with Stafford and Missouri City as well. So I think a combination of all that really kind of propelled us to that high," he said.

The Congressional Quarterly did recently publish its 2013 City Crime Ranking report that listed Sugar Land as the second safest city in Texas and 20th safest in the nation. This independent ranking was based on an analysis of FBI crime statistics.

Chief Brinkley emphasizes while the effort of preventing crime falls on law enforcement, it also falls on homeowners via home alarm systems, upgraded dead bolts and even camera systems.

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