Violent crime is the most feared kind of crime, and there are grounds for alarm in some Texas cities where it appears to be on the rise.
Recently, an article in the Dallas Morning News highlighted a spike in violent offenses in a sizeable number of Texas’s smaller cities last year.
This month, an article this month in Tucson News Now rated the central Texas cities of Killeen and Waco as being among the 15 most violent in the state.
The larger cities are not immune either. Recently Dallas Police Chief David Brown outlined a plan to tackle what the Morning News described as “a drastic rise in violent crime.” The city has seen a 75 percent jump in murders year-on-year, according to reports.
Traditionally, parts of western Texas have the highest levels of violent crime with the city of Odessa establishing itself as the most dangerous in the state, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime reports. Austin has remained one of the safest cities in the state The Daily Post reported. Its homicide rate of 2.8 per 100,000 is the lowest of Texas’s big four cities.
The Dallas Morning News article quoted 2015 statistics for cities of at least 100,000 people in northern Texas.
In Irving, a city of more than a quarter of a million people, robberies rose in 2015, and the city recorded its highest number of homicides since 2007. However, overall crime has fallen steadily in the last decade and is about half of what it was in 2004.
Few Identifiable Trends in Violent Crime
The article quoted Alex Piquero, a University of Texas at Dallas criminology professor, who said there were few identifiable trends in the violent crime rates and people should not “read too much into the numbers.”
There is certainly little consistency in the trends from city to city. For example, Richardson saw crime fall by 7 percent overall from 2014 to 2015. The number of robberies fell, but simple assaults rose by a massive 28 percent.
Garland experienced a 10.6 percent increase in violent crimes from 2014 to 2015, which included an 11.5 percent in rapes. The police department suggested more rapes were being reported.
Lewisville experienced a year-on-year increase in violent crimes, according to the Dallas Morning News report.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2013 found San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Victoria were in the top 10 most dangerous cities in Texas. Like Amarillo, Victoria has a “surprisingly high number of reported rape cases, at 71.5 per 100,000,” reported Texas Monthly.
Our Texas criminal defense attorneys represent people accused of aggravated assault and family violence. These offenses fuel the violent crime statistics, but they are not always proved in court. In order to prove an aggravated assault has occurred, the prosecution must not only show that an assault took place but that a dangerous or a deadly weapon was used. The attorneys at Peek & Toland , can help people facing aggravated assault or family violence charges, as well as all other violent crimes.
If you have been charged with a violent offense, you could be facing incarceration. It’s vital that you hire a knowledgeable and competent Texas criminal defense attorney to defend you. Contact our office at (512) 474-4445.