Crime In Austin Texas

Austin Crime Rates Lower In Some Respects, Higher In Others When Compared To Other Cities

According to the FBI’s 2008 Austin crime report, crime in Austin Texas is relatively low compared to other large cities in the U.S. (I believe we’re at around #60 on that list as far as violent crime rates go).

Higher Property Crime Rates In Austin

However, the property crime rates in Austin are extremely high – we’re actually 15th on the list, ahead of cities such as Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, and New Orleans. This is unfortunate, since property crime is often related to drug crimes, and may possibly be indicative of increased drug problems here.

Austin Has Lower Rates of Violent Crime Than Most Cities

The good news is that Austin has one of the lowest rates of all large cities when it comes to violent crimes such as murder and robberies. However, our city ranks somewhere in the middle with regards to forcible rape. This may have something to do with our being a “college town”, as the rates are significantly higher for women in the age group of 16-24.

Austin Area Crime Rate Map And Crime Index

NeighborhoodScout has some really interesting data on crime in Austin. They actually have a color-coded crime map that shows the safest and least safe neighborhoods at a glance. Now, the most interesting thing about NeighborhoodScout’s crime data is that they claim to have data compiled by over 17,000 different law enforcement agencies. So, presumably their data is more complete.

And, according to their reported data, Austin is only safer than 6% of U.S. cities. Most shocking is that, according to their data and despite our low crime rates, you have a 1-in-181 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Austin.

So, What Can You Do?

For starters, don’t be an easy target. Criminal predators base their victim selection on just a few simple criteria that revolve around how easy of a target the victim is and how unlikely their chances are of getting caught. Opportunity for criminals is everywhere; however, the violent criminal also requires the victim to be vulnerable. And, they typically require at least some modicum of privacy to complete the crime without undue risk of getting caught.

So, harden yourself as a target. Lock your doors and windows (both in your car and at home). Keep a cell phone handy at all times. Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid texting or talking on your cell phone in unsafe or unfamiliar public areas (and talking or texting while walking in parking lots, parking garages, or anywhere that you are not in the company of others is a no-no).

When you arrive home, be aware of things that may be amiss in the environment – doors or windows that are open or that have been tampered with, missing items, lights you left on that are now off, and so forth. If something looks out of place or amiss, don’t enter the premises and call the local police to come check it out.

Finally, invest in yourself by learning more about how to avoid being the target of a violent crime, and what to do if it does happen. Attend a crime prevention class, take a self-defense course, stay in shape, and practice being aware of your surroundings at all times.

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