We often associate rising crime levels with big cities such as Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, but newly released statistics for 2015 point to increased violent offending in many of the suburban areas of northern Texas.
Statistics for 2015 for North Texas cities with a population of at least 100,000 people reveal “the suburbs are not immune to the violent-crime increases seen in bigger cities like Dallas,” the Dallas Morning News reported recently.
The report highlighted a series of increases and decreases in crime such as burglaries, rapes, robberies, thefts, aggravated assaults and car thefts in cities with populations of around 120,000.
However, a lack of identifiable trends in violent crimes characterized the statistics, according to Alex Piquero, a University of Texas at Dallas criminology professor.
Carrollton recorded a 21 percent jump in robberies last year. However, the city had just 64 offenses. Thefts were the most prevalent crime and the city recorded a five percent decrease.
The number of robberies also rose in Irving, the second-largest city in Dallas County. The city of 250,000 people also had the highest number of homicides since 2007, as nine people were killed, although overall crime fell for the 11th year in a row.
Richardson recorded a 28 percent jump in simple assaults, although crime fell overall by 7 percent. Police reported 157 less thefts in 2015 than in 2014.
Violent crime rose significantly in Garland where it was 10.6 percent up on 2014. There was an 11.5 percent increase in rapes. Pedro Barineau of the police department said the rise was mostly attributable to suspects who knew their victims. Garland saw an 18.9 percent increase in aggravated assaults last year, although there were fewer burglaries.
Another city that recorded increases in violent crime was Mesquite that saw increases in robberies and aggravated assaults while an increase in violent crimes in Lewisville was fuelled by a rise in aggravated assaults.
The pattern of an increase in violent crime but a decrease in property crimes was also seen in Plano where aggravated assaults rose 23.5 percent last year, even though robberies fell by 28 percent.
Some of the most violent cities in Texas are in west Texas. Odessa, which has a population of just over 110,000 recorded a violent crime rate of 806.4 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report . It was the most violent city in the state. The figure was more than twice the violent crime rate recorded in the Dallas area. That survey identified the most violent city in north Texas to be Texarkana.
If you have been charged with a violent crime you could face a harsh sentence and should hire an experienced north Texas criminal defense attorney.