Apr 17, 2024 - News

Austin homicides, violent crime drops in 2024

Change in year-to-date reported homicides in U.S. cities, 2023 to 2024
Data: AH Datalytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Violent crime, including homicides, have dropped so far this year compared to 2023 in Austin.

Why it matters: Most large U.S. cities are starting to see drops in violence after sharp increases during the pandemic.

  • The number of homicides in 204 cities dropped 20% in the first three months this year compared to the same period last year, per an AH Datalytics report reviewed by Axios.

Between the lines: The drop in crime comes after the Texas Department of Public Safety's Austin Violent Crimes Task Force withdrew from patrolling the city in late December.

Catch up quick: A divisive partnership last year with the state that was meant to shore up policing capability led to widespread arrests of Black and Hispanic people before Mayor Kirk Watson suspended it in July.

By the numbers: Violent crime, including assaults and sex offenses, through the end of March are down nearly 20% compared to the same time period last year in Austin — 1,292 to 1,043.

  • Homicides are down 42% during that time period — from 19 to 11.
  • Austin police recorded 1,018 burglaries the first three months of this year — down from 1,266 over the same period in 2023, or a 20% drop.

What they're saying: Axios interview requests left with APD and DPS were not returned.

The bottom line: Analyzing homicide numbers can be helpful in assessing a city's safety but reductions are most meaningful if other violent crimes, including assaults and robberies, are also decreasing.

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