The Justice Administration Department (JAD) strives to be a resource to the public by providing timely and relevant information. Increasing public safety and reducing violent crime is front and center to everything we do. To that end, JAD recently launched a new dashboard showing Index-Crime Rate statistics in Harris County.
This dashboard shows crime trends over time in Harris County and compares crime rates between Harris County, other counties in Texas, and large counties in the U.S. This document highlights some of the data snapshots that can be ascertained from the dashboard in an effort to provide context to the raw data and assist the public in fully utilizing the dashboard.
Where does the data come from? The crime rate data for Harris County and other counties in Texas are sourced from the Texas Department of Public Safety Website, which is available for public use. Law enforcement agencies submit this data to the DPS, which is made readily accessible on their website. The data for large counties in the U.S. are sourced from various public websites, which are also available for public view/use.
What does JAD’s dashboard show? The new dashboard shows counts of index crimes reported annually; the counts are normalized by population to show counts per 100,000 residents and year-on-year percentage changes. The trend is shown from 2015 through 2020 for Harris County and counties in Texas and from 2018 through 2020 for other counties in the U.S.
I. Harris County Index Crime Rates From 2010 to 2020 Compared to Other Texas Counties
An analysis of Harris County Index Crime rates from 2010 to 2020 compared to Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Tarrant, and Travis County revealed the following:-Harris County’s Index Crime rate was lower in 2020 than in any year from 2010-2016 and was relatively consistent with 2017 and 2019.
-Rates for assault increased from 2019 to 2020 in Harris, Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant, and Travis County. Harris saw the greatest increase at 29.7%, followed closely by Tarrant at 27.88%, then Dallas and Travis at 16.28% and 15.59%. While Harris saw decreased rates in assault from 2018 to 2019 (by 5.5%), Bexar, Dallas, and Travis saw increases of 12.64%, 14.73%, and 16.30%, respectively.
-Rates for murder increased from 2019 to 2020 in Harris, Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant, and Travis County. The most significant increase was seen in Tarrant (54.67%), followed by Travis (45.28%), then Harris (41.3%). El Paso saw a decrease of 19.5% following increases of 47.5% and 32.8% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
-Rates for rape decreased from 2019 to 2020 in Harris, Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Tarrant, and Travis County. Over the past decade, rates for rape have generally risen until the past several years, when rates for rape began decreasing in Harris, Bexar, and El Paso in either 2019 or 2020 and in Dallas, Tarrant, and Travis County in either 2017 or 2018.
-Rates for robbery decreased from 2019 to 2020 in Harris, Dallas, El Paso, and Tarrant County.
-Rates for auto theft increased from 2019 to 2020 in Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, and Travis County. Travis saw the greatest increase at 30.09%, followed by Harris at 13.4%. While rates for auto theft in Bexar and El Paso County decreased from 2019 to 2020, both saw increases between 2018 and 2019.
-Rates for larceny decreased from 2019 to 2020 in Harris, Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Tarrant, and Travis County.
-Rates for burglary increased from 2019 to 2020 in only two counties: Dallas and Travis. Harris County saw a 7.8% decrease, and the rate of burglaries in Harris County has decreased every year since 2013, except for a 1.4% increase in 2019. With several exceptions, rates for burglary have generally decreased in all counties since 2011.
II.Harris County Index Crime Rates Compared to Other Large Metropolitan Counties in the U.S.
An analysis of Harris County Index Crime rates compared to other large metropolitan counties in the U.S., specifically Los Angeles, Kings, and Cook County (Only data for 2018 and 2019 was available for Cook County), for the period of 2018 through 2020 revealed the following:
-From 2019-2020, total Index Crimes per 100,000 residents increased in Harris County by 0.66%, increased in Kings County by 4.21%, and decreased in Los Angeles County by 5.57%.
-From 2019 to 2020, rates for assault, auto theft, and murder increased in Harris, Los Angeles, and Kings County. The greatest increase in assault was seen in Harris County (29.7% compared to 4.3% in Los Angeles and 4.8% in Kings). The greatest increase in auto theft was seen in Kings County (56.8% compared to 30.9% in Los Angeles and 13.4% in Harris). The greatest increase in murder was seen in Kings (70.9% compared to 41.3% in Harris and 31.8% in Los Angeles).
-From 2019 to 2020, rates for rape and robbery decreased in Harris, Los Angeles, and Kings County, and rates for larceny and burglary increased in Kings County but decreased in Harris and Los Angeles County.
We hope you find this guide useful; for any questions pertaining to the dashboard, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For interview requests, to receive more educational and informational materials from JAD, and or to receive our newsletter, please reach out to email@example.com.
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