Texas, like many other places in the world, has had crime rate fluctuations through the years. Crime statistics have been tracked since the 1930s, and the annual crime report and analysis is currently conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety Uniform Crime Reporting Bureau. According to their 2010 report, there was a decrease in major crimes during the year 2010 as compared to 2009.
There was a 6 percent decrease in both violent crimes and property crimes in 2010. The crime statistics are based on the number of crimes per 100,000 people in Texas. Comparison to the 2009 crime statistics review revealed that there was an 8.3 percent decrease in violent crimes in 2010 and a 5.7 percent decrease in property crimes as well.
Instead of collecting the total number of crimes occurring in a particular year, the Uniform Crime Reporting Bureau sets the crime index as a statistical summary tool to collect crime data. The annual crime report is based on this crime index. The crimes in this group are all considered serious and present a threat to the police and security of the state. The index crime rate is defined as the crimes occurring per 100,000 people. This system allows for comparisons between periods of time without distortions caused by changes in population.
The year 2010 was the first year that all seven index crime rates dropped since the year 2000. Murder rates fell by 7.4 percent and rape by 9.2 percent. Robbery also fell by 14.9 percent, aggravated assault fell by 4.9 percent, burglary fell by 5.9 percent, larceny/theft fell by 4.9 percent, and motor vehicle theft fell by 12.3 percent.
Juvenile arrests also fell by 9.3 percent from the year 2009, while there was a 4.6 percent decrease in adult arrest. Assaults on police officers also showed a 6 percent decrease in 2010 as compared to the 2009 data. 13 law enforcement officers died while on duty and two others were killed feloniously. Family violence also decreased by 1.6 percent according to the crime statistics report. There were 193,505 family violence incidents involving 211,769 complainants and 207,474 offenders in 2010.
The data further revealed a decrease of 8.5 percent in arson offenses. There were 5,517 arsons in 2010, compared to 6,027 cases in 2009. There was a total of $1.9 billion in stolen property in 2010, while a total of $492 million was recovered by the Texas law enforcement agencies.
While all the index crimes decreased, hate crimes on the other hand increased by 2.9 percent in 2010 as compared to the previous year. There were 168 documented incidents of hate crimes involving 179 complainants and 185 offenders. The Texas Hate Crime Act defines hate crimes as crimes committed due to prejudice and hatred, whether it is based on religion, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability. Among these, the largest portion of hate crimes was due to racial difference, while sexual orientation ranked second. Ethnicity/national origin ranked third, while religion and disability ranked fourth and fifth consecutively.