Many large cities in the Houston metropolitan area are experiencing jumps in violent and property crimes - despite what the FBI has reported as a steady drop in both categories nationally.
According to an FBI report, 14 cities in the Houston area - including six of the 10 largest - reported more violent and property crimes in 2009 than in 2008. Yet at the same time, violent crime nationally declined for the third consecutive year, down by 5.3 percent. Property crime likewise fell for the seventh consecutive year nationally, showing a 4.6 percent drop.
Property crimes pose the biggest problem for most area police departments. Those crimes, which include everything from auto theft to burglary, increased in 35 of the 55 Houston-area cities tabulated. Violent crimes were higher in 22 of the 55 cities.
Only 13 of the 55 cities from which crime data was gathered in the Houston area reported either decreases or no change in both property and violent crimes. They were Rosenberg, Friendswood, Lake Jackson, Alvin, West University Place, Memorial Villages, Clute, Cleveland, Hitchcock, Sweeny, Mont Belvieu, Kemah and Magnolia.