Numbers through October back in-line with 2010
It appears Houston's crime rate is climbing back to 'normal' after 2011's unusually low numbers. HPD reports that through October 2012, violent crime -- murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults -- is up 3.8% compared to the first 10 months of last year.
The Bayou City has seen 183 murders, 557 rapes, 7,695 robberies and 9,688 aggravated assaults.
That's still lower, but more in-line with the same period 10-month period of 2010.
Dr. Phillip Lyons at Sam Houston State's College of Criminal Justice says the numbers fly in the face of reason during our ongoing recession.
"That was not the case last year when we were at nearly an all-time low, at least in recent years," Lyons tells KTRH News. "And now that the economy seems to be improving, crime rates are going back up."
"I think it underscores the fact that we really aren't nearly as good as predicting crime rates as we think we are," he says. "And that's one of the indicators I think that we don't have good solid explanations for what causes crime."
Murders overall in the U.S. have trended lower, a sign of either more civility or more people carrying guns according to Dr. Steven Eggar at the University of Houston in Clear Lake.
"We used to have almost 20,000 victims of homicide," says Eggar. "Now in this country, we're down to less than 16,000 a year.
Burglaries and theft, or non-violent crime, was down slightly through October in Houston. But experts warn we could see a spike during the holiday shopping season.