The public has a right to know about what goes on in their community, how crime is being handled, what crimes occur and how analysts, lawmakers, and politicians will use it to make communities safer.
Why Are Crime Statistics Important
The goal of crime statistics is to lower crime by noticing patterns and increasing public trust. The people are paying for these services through their taxes and deserve to know how their money is being spent, and whether or not those methods are effective in preventing crime and improving life in their communities.
They are also vital in determining budgets. At all levels – federal, state, and local – police departments and other law enforcement agencies need to determine how they will allocate resources and how to keep money flowing into initiatives that are seeing a reduction in crime, or effective crime prevention.
They also help to understand what initiatives or changes are making positive differences in communities. For example, statistics can help analysts and police departments to discover if there is a link with improved school services, for example, and a reduction in crime caused by teens or other young adults. If putting up more traffic signs, however, does not reduce speeding or make a particularly dangerous intersection any safer, then there is no point in putting money into systems that have not been proven effective.
Crime Numbers That Went Down
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there were some areas of crime where the rates went down. Between 2016 and 2017, the following crimes noticed a reduction in percentage:
- Burglary: down by 10.34%
- Robbert: down by 3.38%
- Larceny – Theft: down by 5.53%
- Motor vehicle theft: down by 1.69%
Unfortunately, serious crimes such as rape, human trafficking, and manslaughter by negligence all went up, with human trafficking increasing almost 30%.
Crimes Per Local Area
The statistics given are for the entire state of Texas. However, for your city or county they may vary. Residents interested in knowing about crime in their area can usually find it online through the local police department’s website, or through the city or county’s website.
Between 2016 and 2017 a few counties saw a significant reduction in crime. Those counties include Baylor, Cochran, Gillespie, and several others. Concerned citizens in areas where crime is on the rise can use statistics to ask their representatives to address the problems in their area.
Accurate and Valid Crime Statistic Sources
It is important that whenever you hear a crime statistic from a friend, coworker or even a family member that you look it up. Be sure that you understand the definitions that distinguish between one type of case and another, such as burglary versus larceny. Always check to see if the source where you are getting your statistics from is a credible one. Sites that are likely to give you accurate and valid statistics are government websites, such as city and state sites where information compiled by each domain is posted online. If you read information on a blog, however, then you will want to check that statistic against a reputable source if the writer does not link to its source already.
If you’ve been accused of a crime in Texas then you need a criminal defense attorney who has a thorough understanding of the law and the successful track record to give you peace of mind as you navigate the legal system.