Part I Property Crime Rate per 1,000 Population
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) identifies seven “Part I Index Crimes” based on their seriousness and frequency of occurrence. Three categories for property crimes include: burglary, theft, and auto theft. The Austin Police Department (APD) reports crime counts to the FBI, whose Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program provides consistent crime reporting across the country.
Property crimes are counted by number of premises entered (burglary), number of offenses (theft), or number of vehicles (auto theft). Property crime rates are calculated by dividing the property crime count by a population factor (Austin’s population divided by 1,000).
For prior years (FY 2014-15 and earlier), APD reports the FBI's UCR property crime rate based on a calendar year and the City of Austin’s US census population. For the current year (FY 2015-16), the property crime rate is based on a fiscal year and Austin’s full-purpose population. This result will be considered unofficial until the FBI releases its final results in late 2017.
FY 2015-16 Results
In FY 2015-16, there were 37.36 property crimes per 1,000 residents, 26% below the estimate.
Assessment of Results
The FY 2015-16 result is a slight decrease from the previous fiscal year. Austin’s property crime rate in calendar year 2015 (the most recent official results) was 37.71, 6% lower than the rate of 40.11 for large US cities.* In FY 2015-16, Austin ranked 17th as the safest city in property crime rates out of large US cities (population 5000,000 and greater).
In FY 2015-16, Austin’s rate of 5.6 burglaries per 1,000 population was 6% higher compared to the previous year, but was 31% lower than the rate for other large US cities. Austin’s rate of 29.3 thefts was 2% lower compared to the previous year, but was 9% higher than the rate for other large US cities in FY 2015-16. Austin’s rate of 2.5 auto thefts was 1% lower compared to the previous year, and 50% lower than the rate for other large US cities.
Rather than assigning a patrol function during South by Southwest, one Defensive Tactic unit (DTAC) specifically targeted crimes that affect tourists. As a result, more than 30 people were arrested for a variety of crimes including solicitation, narcotics, and public order crimes. The goal was to reduce property crimes and prevent tourists from becoming victim to the most reported crimes (theft) and the most un-reported crime (parking scams).
In FY 2015-16, the Auto Theft unit, in conjunction with the Property Crimes Task Force, diversified its fleet of bait vehicles, adding new vehicles, motorcycles, and trailers. Additionally, license plate readers (LPR) were deployed to work in conjunction with bait vehicles. This activity resulted in the arrests of a sport bike theft ring from San Antonio that had been active on the IH-35 corridor. In FY 2016-17, the Task Force will continue to pair bait vehicle operations with LPRs.
*2015 Restated from previous assessment to replace unofficial, fiscal year results with official, calendar year results. Comparison crime for large US cities (populations between 500,000 – 1,500,000) is based on the most recent FBI data for 2015. (Austin’s full population was 913,917 in 2016).
For more information contact Brian Manley, Chief of Police at (512) 974-5030.