Violent crime in Houston is trending down by nearly 10% from the first 10 months of 2022 compared to that same time frame in 2023, according to data from the Houston Police Department.

The overview

At the Oct. 18 Houston City Council meeting, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner presented updated crime data that compared numbers from January to Oct. 15, 2023, to that same time frame in 2022.

The data detailed both violent crime and nonviolent crime, with nearly every category trending downward.

Violent crime in total is trending 9.64% below last year, while nonviolent crime is trending down about 3.89%, according to the data. In total, both violent and nonviolent crime are trending down by about 5%.

Fatal and nonfatal shootings are also trending down by about 17% compared to 2022, according to the data. Fatal shootings are down from 308 instances from January to September 2022, to 252 in that same time frame of 2023.

Diving in deeper

It marks a similar trend seen in 2022 as well, when violent crime decreased by 8% year over year from 2021. In that same report, presented in January, data showed overall crime decreased across each of the city’s districts.

However, both violent and nonviolent crime did see increases in a couple areas in the chief’s Oct. 18 report. The one exception in violent crime was rape, which is up 1.85% compared to 2022, according to the data.

For nonviolent crimes, auto theft is up 15.1%, while theft and burglary were both down, the data shows. Finner said this is a similar trend happening around the United States.

The FBI released crime data for 2022 on Oct. 16, according to a release from the bureau’s website. While 2023 data was unavailable, new numbers show car thefts have gone up every year from 2019 to 2022—up from 255.9 thefts per 100,000 people in 2021 to 282.7 in 2022.

What they’re saying

Several City Council members at the Oct. 18 meeting praised the work of both Finner and Houston police. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said these are signs that the city is trending in the right direction.

“When people are talking about what they’re going to do to address crime, what more are you going to do than what we’re doing right now? Other than flap your lips,” Turner said.

Council member Abbie Kamin listed a number of new policies recently enacted, such as body cameras, crisis intervention and new vehicle pursuit policies.

“There is a whole list,” she said. “Behind the scenes, so much has been done and accomplished despite a pandemic and a bunch of other factors outside of the city’s control.”