Houston may be safer than you thought. As murders rise across the country, Houston saw a significant drop over the first half of 2017.
According to New Orleans crime analyst Jeff Asher, murders have continued to increase, as they have over the past few years following a historic low in 2014.
In most areas, murders were up about 4 percent for the first half of 2017, compared with the numbers from last year.
While the number of murders may have increased, it’s still lower than it has been in the past, especially compared with the numbers from past decades.
In Houston, however, the numbers tell a different story.
After hitting a five-year high in 2015 with 303 murders, Houston’s murder rate has dropped.
In the first half of 2017, murders are down 20% in the city, meaning that there were 31 fewer murders in the first 6 months of 2017 than there were in the first 6 months of 2016.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told the Houston Chronicle how his new strategy of approaching crime is helping drive down murders.
“We’re responding to many more things,” Acevedo explained.
The department has assigned more officers to nights and weekends, and they now respond to reports of non-lethal shootings and aggravated assaults. This, Acevedo claims, allows them to take people off the streets before their crimes rise to the level of murder.
He explained, “I’m convinced we charged people for lesser offenses that if not pursued, would have turned into homicides.”
Acevedo’s actions are working. For the first half of 2017, Houston tallied 136 murders, compared to 171 in 2016 and 153 in 2015 over the same period.