crimes that affect most people, like house burglary and theft, fell the most
The San Antonio crime rate continued to fall in 2011, with the types of crimes that worry people the most falling by the largest margin, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Figures released in the annual DPS Crime in Texas report shows overall crime in San Antonio was down 9.2 % in 2011 compared with 2010.
The four types of crimes which affect the most people, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and larceny, which is theft of property, all fell sharply last year.
In fact, house burglaries, which is probably the crime that worries most San Antonians, fell from 17,000 in 2010 to 15,000 in 2011.
Larceny, which is by far the most common crime, includes everything from shoplifting to theft of items from people's homes and cars, to theft by scams, also fell sharply, from 65,000 in 2010 to 59,000 last year.
Murders rose from a historic low of 79 in 2010 to 89 last year, but those numbers are still sharply lower than ten to fifteen years ago, when San Antonio routinely averages 250 to 300 murders per year.
The continuing downward trend in index crimes is directly linked to the outstanding efforts of local law enforcement in Texas," said DPS Direct5or Steven McCraw. "The dedication and perseverance of all Texas law enforcement agencies in protecting citizens and visitors in the is state is to be commended.
But McCraw stressed that the report does not measure the threat posed by transnational gangs which are involved in drugs, weapons smuggling, and human sexual trafficking.
Criminologists say many factors affect rises and drops in crime, many of which are out of the control of law enforcement, like demographics. When there is a larger population of people in the crime producing ages of 18-30, as we had with the 'Baby Boom' in the 1970s and the 'Baby Boom Echo' in the 1990s, crime goes up because there are more criminals. Conversely, when those demographic groups fall, like we are currently seeing, crime goes down.
Technology, including more cameras and other surveillance equipment, more security guards, GPS tracking devices on electronic items, and the use of tracking systems in cars, all have an effect in cutting down on crime.
One type of crime that had a disturbing increase in San Antonio last year was rape, up from 467 cases in 2010 to 492 cases last year. Statistics show that so called 'stranger rapes' made up only 6% of the total, with the vast majority of victims being either a family member, girlfriend, or female acquaintance of the perpetrator. 25% of sexual assaults were of children. 75% of all sexual assaults take place in a home.
Since the so called 'index crimes' do not include traffic offenses, drunk driving and road rage are not included in the report.
A total of 87,900 index crimes were reported in San Antonio in 2011, down from 96,700 in 2010.