Jump to content

Crime In Houston Shows Decline


RedScare

Recommended Posts

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metrop...an/4341630.html

The rate of violent crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, was down from 2004, after a spike last year. Nonviolent crimes, such as burglaries and car thefts, were down for the second straight year, according to the UCR.

Gerstner credits the success to an overtime program that began Aug. 28.

The crime numbers in west Houston aren't all rosy, however. The other part of HPD's westside division, patrol District 18
Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metrop...an/4341630.html

The rate of violent crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, was down from 2004, after a spike last year. Nonviolent crimes, such as burglaries and car thefts, were down for the second straight year, according to the UCR.

Gerstner credits the success to an overtime program that began Aug. 28.

After all of the doom and gloom about crime in the last year, it was nice to see a bit of relief. HPD's overtime program may have helped, along with daily analysis of crime data (I wonder why this took so long to implement). Here's hoping it is a trend instead of an anomaly.

One interesting staistic: The City estimates the current population at 2,298,000. :mellow:

The police have adapted their techniques, but I'd think that the drop in crime probably has more to do with the booming economy and the process of population stabilization than anything else. People just don't tend to put themselves at risk of imprisonment when they've got a lot to live for. The homicide rate per 1,000 population has been in long-term decline, for instance, and only spikes with recessionary periods.

I'm not sure exactly where the City is getting its population estimates from, but if you trust Bart Smith's DATABook Houston, the City (excluding illegals) probably shouldn't be hitting 2,298,000 until about 2013 or 2014. If I had to bet, I'd say that HPD is probably inflating the population growth numbers to look better in the national UCR statistics in terms of crime rate per 1,000 persons. And until the next Census, they may be able to get away with it.

Edited by TheNiche
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are the Evacuees finally going back?

-Just Kidding-.

Good to see things might be settling down, hopefully the city can hire more officers.

Actually, yes, some are going back. See VicMan's HISD thread about school population losses. Also, I have ready anecdotal stories of Thugs heading back to New Orleans to re-establish turf, and not particularly caring for Harris County's no-nonsense approach to crime. While none of this can really be proved from statistics, each may have an incremental effect. I think the methodical arresting of criminals as they are commit their crimest eventually thins the herd as well.

I have always thought this would be a temporary spike, though it is WAY to early to say that yet.

EDIT: Niche, the City Planning Department compiles its own estimates. As of Jan. 1, 2006, they estimated the population at 2,198,000. I think the estimate in the article is a typo. HPD does not estimate population. The UCR rates use the Census estimates.

Edited by RedScare
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Niche, the City Planning Department compiles its own estimates. As of Jan. 1, 2006, they estimated the population at 2,198,000. I think the estimate in the article is a typo. HPD does not estimate population. The UCR rates use the Census estimates.

I'll defer you on this, oh wise and honored former Asst. DA.

However, I still think that their population estimate is bogus. Even the 2,198,000 mark is probably a few years off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The police have adapted their techniques, but I'd think that the drop in crime probably has more to do with the booming economy and the process of population stabilization than anything else. People just don't tend to put themselves at risk of imprisonment when they've got a lot to live for. The homicide rate per 1,000 population has been in long-term decline, for instance, and only spikes with recessionary periods.

Source for this "homicide spike during recessionary periods"?

I'll defer you on this, oh wise and honored former Asst. DA.

However, I still think that their population estimate is bogus. Even the 2,198,000 mark is probably a few years off.

The July 1, 2005 Census estimate was 2,016,582. With the normal (and probably accelerating) growth plus the Katrina influx, the 2,198,000 seems like it might be little high, but not that far out of line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Source for this "homicide spike during recessionary periods"?

The July 1, 2005 Census estimate was 2,016,582. With the normal (and probably accelerating) growth plus the Katrina influx, the 2,198,000 seems like it might be little high, but not that far out of line.

I read through a document earlier this year that reviewed historical trends by type of crime. I think it was published by the FBI and comprised primarily of UCR stats.

The Houston MSA was supposed to have gotten about 120,000 refugees initially; I doubt that those that are even still around are all in the City of Houston. Otherwise, an average annual growth of 25,871 people should be expected for the CoH and 136,393 for the MSA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where did you get the 120,000 evacuees number from? Everything I have seen has been MUCH larger than that, ranging from 250,000 to 375,000 thousand if you include folks that fled Rita.

In fact, FEMA estimates that 150,000 ARE STILL here in the Houston area as of Sept. 2006.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where did you get the 120,000 evacuees number from? Everything I have seen has been MUCH larger than that, ranging from 250,000 to 375,000 thousand if you include folks that fled Rita.

In fact, FEMA estimates that 150,000 ARE STILL here in the Houston area as of Sept. 2006.

The actual number is impossible to reliably estimate, but I can assure you that it wasn't "375,000 thousand" (which would be 375 million). However, I have heard Bart Smith throw the 120,000 figure out there, mentioning it in the context that our population gain in 2005 could be roughly double that in normal years.

On the other hand, I've seen estimates put out from Claritas, Inc. that say that Harris County experienced a net gain of less than 50,000 people, which would seem to suggest a significantly lower number for the MSA as a whole. And the areas around Beaumont gained as well...bear in mind that most of the Beaumont area was far enough inland to avoid being too completely devastated. The scale of destruction (or socioeconomic hardship, which is really more applicable to discussions of the crime rate) was nowhere near that of Katrina.

So let me ask you a question. Do you trust FEMA's numbers? Honestly?

I don't.

Edited by TheNiche
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Barton Smith is a smart man, but he isn't the ultimate source for all information. Maybe you should think for yourself sometime too?

I respect the guy because he's intellectually honest and extremely rigorous in the conduct of his responsibilities. I took a cost-benefit analysis course taught by him once and he was so exacting that he made the whole class buy books that hadn't been in print since 1986. Plus, he (and his cohorts at the IRF) provide a lot of raw information which I use professionally.

Although I'll gladly give Bart some benefit of the doubt because he has more expertise, I've never been afraid to challenge him when I think that something may not be accurate...however, I've never won any of the arguments, either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maps and Data as of August 2006 about Katrina evacuees living in Houston (and Texas)

http://www.houstonhurricanerecovery.org/Po...07/Default.aspx

Good find, Jason. :) I could've used this a few months ago. Coworkers will be pleased on Monday.

According to the Texas Health & Human Services Commission report found at this website, the number of Katrina evacuees estimated in the whole of East Texas is 111,000 as of August 2006. Statewide, 251,000. Considering that I'm sure that we got a good number of displaced persons from the relatively small Beaumont area following Rita, I think that any number between about 120,000 and 150,000 would be plausible.

In any case, it isn't anywhere near the estimates supplied by FEMA via Kinkaid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Niche, you bring up some good points, but don't you think it is interesting that we have experienced this drop in crime directly within the month that we began our overtime program and directly within the districts that the overtime program was targeted? Doesn't that mean this drop in crime is more directly related to that event?

Also, do we know how these different organizations are quantifying our current population? Is there a way know which one would be the most accurate?

Either way, I think we seriously need to do more to cut back our crime. No matter if the statistics are higher or lower, our crime rate is horribly high and we need to get the resources together to solve the problem fast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Niche, you bring up some good points, but don't you think it is interesting that we have experienced this drop in crime directly within the month that we began our overtime program and directly within the districts that the overtime program was targeted? Doesn't that mean this drop in crime is more directly related to that event?

Also, do we know how these different organizations are quantifying our current population? Is there a way know which one would be the most accurate?

Either way, I think we seriously need to do more to cut back our crime. No matter if the statistics are higher or lower, our crime rate is horribly high and we need to get the resources together to solve the problem fast.

Well its a funny thing how a refugee population starts to stabilize just as revised police tactics are implemented. They correlate nicely, plus we've got a booming economy, which certainly helps the police out in an indirect way. Can you imagine what things would be like if our economy had gone bust over the past year? With or without new police tactics, it'd be Detroit.

Short answer on which figures are accurate is that we don't know with any certainty. However, I'm inclined to stick with the 120,000 figure as a rough approximation. Given that I'm sure that 1) many LA and East Texas refugees have returned home or gone elsewhere to find work and that 2) a number of our tradesmen have temporarily gone east looking for high-paying reconstruction work, including a cousin and an uncle of mine, I'd think that the net population gain as of this moment might be somewhat tempered, closer to Claritas' figures (although I think that they're still a bit on the conservative side).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with the above data is that it is for evacuees that have sought governmental assistance. These are folks that have contacted local agencies for housing vouchers, job training, etc...

The Houston area picked up a large number of people who just moved on their own to Houston. While many of the wealthier folks who bunkered down with relatives or just rented/purchased new property on their own have returned, many have stayed. While overall enrollment might be down in poorer school districts, they are not down at all at schools like West U, Lanier, Poe, Bellaire, etc... nor are they down at numerous private schools all over the region.

Just this week, another large corporation announced that 100 more jobs are leaving Nawlins for Houston. These people count as evacuees or refugees or transplants as well.

My friends who moved from New Orleans into property I owned still tell me that the majority of their friends are in Houston. While they moved back, his (my friend's) job is still in Houston. They will be forced to make a decision to have him quit his job or sell their Uptown home and move to Texas. These are the types of people that were NEVER officially counted by any government agency, but they are still in Southeast Texas to be sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with the above data is that it is for evacuees that have sought governmental assistance. These are folks that have contacted local agencies for housing vouchers, job training, etc...

And FEMA data is somehow better???

The Houston area picked up a large number of people who just moved on their own to Houston. While many of the wealthier folks who bunkered down with relatives or just rented/purchased new property on their own have returned, many have stayed. While overall enrollment might be down in poorer school districts, they are not down at all at schools like West U, Lanier, Poe, Bellaire, etc... nor are they down at numerous private schools all over the region.

Just this week, another large corporation announced that 100 more jobs are leaving Nawlins for Houston. These people count as evacuees or refugees or transplants as well.

My friends who moved from New Orleans into property I owned still tell me that the majority of their friends are in Houston. While they moved back, his (my friend's) job is still in Houston. They will be forced to make a decision to have him quit his job or sell their Uptown home and move to Texas. These are the types of people that were NEVER officially counted by any government agency, but they are still in Southeast Texas to be sure.

What evidence do you have that they were not counted? This is like one of those people that calls into a talk-radio show when polls show that they're in the minority on some issue and complain that pollsters never call THEM.

The fact is that as long as the government doesn't start forcing RFID implants, there will be no such thing as comprehensive data. When these studies are conducted, they seek to create a representative sample (or at least to clarify where the sample came from if it is not representative). The whole idea is that nobody gets left out.

However, our disputes over the total number aside, wealthy New Orleanians are unlikely to be committing too many crimes. I'm much more concerned over those who were not so wealthy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't even see what the big deal is if the population estimates aren't accurate. They're population estimates!

Anyhow, I think that HPD can be some continual liars on various topics which aren't of interest to their own healthy agenda. So, I don't think you're going in the wrong direction by calling these statistics into question. However it is always healthy to have an improved police force and we have at least done that.

Also, I think that an improved police force will lead to a more protected neighborhood which will be healthy for those who don't want to commit crimes and that will bring more opportunity to the entire whole of Houston. As long as people don't have to live in bad neighborhoods by living in Houston that will in turn improve our economy.

I think that especially with our current police chief, who has had eccentric proposals to council in the past; wanting to let some criminals free in the case of needed financial cutbacks we have some serious problems at HPD.

Edited by Double L
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think all of these estimates for total Houston area population are short some 250,000-350,000 as I don't think they do a good job taking into account the undocumented populations which likely range in the 700-800k persons.

I'm inclined to disagree with you as well.

assuming on the HIGH end that the Houston METRO area is about 4million, that would make one out of every 4 Houstonian Illegal.

Good luck with verifying that number.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in early October, when illegal immigration was an even hotter issue than it is currently, Fox News reported that there were an estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants in Houston. I have no idea if they meant the city proper or the metropolitan area, nor do I know where they obtained such an estimate. However, they were firm with the contention, as they not only said it verbally but had it captioned in the little bar that they have at the bottom of the screen as a discussion point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That figure makes no sense at all when you take into account that the high estimates for illegal immigrants entering the US annually is 1,600,000. No way Houston gets half of those.

Nice reasoning skills. You're obviously not figuring the compounded population that's arrived here over the past 10 or 15 years.

We can easily have 600-700,000 in the greater Houston area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

article

Four more homicides were recorded in March of 2007 than in 2006, the first increase since a noticeable decline in killings began last fall.

Unofficially, Houston police counted 34 homicides in March compared with 30 for the same period in 2006, authorities said.

Although police say homicides are still down overall, the recent uptick has caught the attention of law enforcement after a recent spike of at least 11 killings in less than one week narrowed the gap between this year and 2006

Link to comment
Share on other sites

article

Four more homicides were recorded in March of 2007 than in 2006, the first increase since a noticeable decline in killings began last fall.

Unofficially, Houston police counted 34 homicides in March compared with 30 for the same period in 2006, authorities said.

Although police say homicides are still down overall, the recent uptick has caught the attention of law enforcement after a recent spike of at least 11 killings in less than one week narrowed the gap between this year and 2006

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO any person that is murdered is a loss.

i can understand being someone that is murdered is likely to have a very bad year and ruin thier social lives for the forseeable future.

but the fact is that the odds of you being murdered is higher in a domestic fight as opposed to to just some random shooting.

i'm not saying someone getting killed is not a tragedy (some more tragic than others), but like i said in a number of other threads; just be vigilant about your surroundings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i can understand being someone that is murdered is likely to have a very bad year and ruin thier social lives for the forseeable future.

but the fact is that the odds of you being murdered is higher in a domestic fight as opposed to to just some random shooting.

i'm not saying someone getting killed is not a tragedy (some more tragic than others), but like i said in a number of other threads; just be vigilant about your surroundings.

the stats are for all murders not just certain types. at the end of the day each is another notch on the total.

to say that someone that is murdered is likely to have a very bad year and ruin thier social lives for the forseeable future is definitely an understatement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the stats are for all murders not just certain types. at the end of the day each is another notch on the total.

to say that someone that is murdered is likely to have a very bad year and ruin thier social lives for the forseeable future is definitely an understatement.

Well, I know that if *I* got murdered, it would definitely ruin my day.

That's correct: the stats are for ALL murders but there is no context for it. As tough as it is to acknowledge it, all crimes aren't a danger to all people. There are very few "serial" murderers out in the city of Houston.

Again, as I've said on another thread, Murder is a VERY personal crime and a high percentage of people involved know eachother in one way or another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's correct: the stats are for ALL murders but there is no context for it.

i guess i still don't understand what you mean that there is no context for it. the article simply stated that the homicide rate when up in march. how would arguing the context change the intent of the article?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I mean by context is a breakdown of the actual deaths.

Murder/suicide

domestic

robbery

Car Jacking

Drug deal gone bad

Gang Fight

Location

Weather

Time of day

etc..

If you break it down to statistics you can see a true crime pattern and see where and when the problems occur. Unless you're a sociopath (gangs and serial killers usually fall under this category), people generally kill for a reason, the trick is to find the reasoning behind them.

Believe it or not, even weather has an effect on murder rates. Everything has a reasoning behind it, statistically you just have to be willing to break it down to find it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I mean by context is a breakdown of the actual deaths.

Murder/suicide

domestic

robbery

Car Jacking

Drug deal gone bad

Gang Fight

Location

Weather

Time of day

etc..

If you break it down to statistics you can see a true crime pattern and see where and when the problems occur. Unless you're a sociopath (gangs and serial killers usually fall under this category), people generally kill for a reason, the trick is to find the reasoning behind them.

Believe it or not, even weather has an effect on murder rates. Everything has a reasoning behind it, statistically you just have to be willing to break it down to find it.

so are you attempting to refute the homicide increase in March?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...