Percent of Part I Violent and Property Crimes Cleared
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) identifies seven “Part I Index Crimes” based on their seriousness and frequency of occurrence. Part I crimes include: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, and auto theft. Crimes can be cleared in two ways: arrest or exception. A crime is cleared exceptionally when a circumstance prevents an arrest. Examples include when the offender dies, the victim refuses to cooperate with the prosecution, the offender is being prosecuted in another jurisdiction and cannot be extradited, or when the prosecution declines to prosecute. Each year, the Austin Police Department (APD) reports crimes and clearances to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program which provides consistent crime reporting across the country.
The percent of Part I crimes cleared is calculated by dividing total clearances by total offenses. For prior years (FY 2014-15 and earlier), APD reports the FBI’s UCR clearance rate based on a calendar year and is considered official. For the current year (FY 2015-16), the clearance rate is based on fiscal year data and is considered unofficial until the FBI releases its final results in late 2017.
FY 2015-16 Results
In FY 2015-16, 16.5% of Part I Violent and Property Crimes were cleared, exceeding the established goal by 1.4%.
Assessment of Results
The FY 2015-16 result was 0.3% lower than the previous fiscal year. For calendar year 2015 (the year with the most recent official results) Austin’s clearance rate for Part I crimes was 16.8%, which was higher than the 15.4% clearance rate of other large US cities.*
Austin cleared 51% of violent crime, which was higher than the 34% rate for large US cities. Additionally, Austin cleared 13% of property crime, compared to 12% for large US cities. In terms of violent crime, Austin outperformed other cities on clearing all types: murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Additionally, Austin outperformed other cities in clearing burglary and auto theft.
APD prides itself in being a leader in transparency, technology and protecting the privacy rights of Austin’s citizens. In FY 2015-16, APD rolled out a mobile app called AustinPD. The app is free to the public and provides access to the latest news, photos, videos, events, alerts and crime information. Additionally, the app allows two-way communications using Twitter, Facebook, and a special feature for submitting anonymous tips to the Department.
Beginning in FY 2015-16, APD staffed a Property Crimes Task Force focused on proactive operations to reduce the property crime rate. Sworn staff analyze reports and trends in combination with civilian crime analysts. The unit targets repeat offenders through strategic planning and tactical operations. This unit also manages the department’s bait vehicle program, which aims to reduce auto theft. This unit will continue in FY 2016-17.
*2015 Restated from previous assessment to replace unofficial, fiscal year results with official, calendar year results. Comparison rates for large US cities (populations between 500,000 – 1,500,000) is based on the most recent FBI data for 2015. (Austin’s population was 913,917 in 2016).
For more information contact Brian Manley, Chief of Police at (512) 974-5030.