City sees less violent crime and theft

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Some good news for Austin residents:  violent and property crimes decreased from 2010 to 2011 in the capital city.

Although the Austin crime rate dropped, Austin Police Department still had a rate below the national average in solving those crimes.

The FBI released the data earlier this week, and it is available on the City of Austin’s Annual Crime and Traffic Report page.

In all, assaults, rapes, burglaries and auto/property thefts all saw drops across the city. And the rate of violent crimes per 1,000 people was down more than 8 percent from 476 in 2010 to 434 in 2011.

In 2010 there were 38 homicides compared to 27 in 2011. Austin typically sees between 20 and 30 a year.

Police said 2010 saw an increase in domestic violence homicides, making it the highest year for killings in more than a decade.

According to the report Austin police also cleared or solved 48 percent of reported violent crimes [the national average is 47 percent] as well as 12 percent of property crimes [that data has yet to be released by the FBI].
The report also found that burglaries in Austin were down about 20 percent. 2011 saw 7,042 reported burglaries, compared to 8,749 in 2010. Those numbers reflect a rate of 881 burglaries per 1,000 people, a decrease from 2010 of about 20 percent, roughly 1,099. Looking at the past ten years the burglary rate ranged form 997 to 1,139.

Data also revealed that homicides were frequently committed with knives or sharp objects and victims knew their attackers nearly 80 percent of the time. Around 83 percent of robberies were committed against individuals, compared to 17 percent against businesses.

Rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults dropped 20, 10 and 6 percent, respectively.

Car thefts were reportedly down as well, to the lowest levels in 20 years. The car thieves most liked was Honda Accord sedans and Ford, Chevrolet and GMC trucks.

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