City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15
Percent of Part I Crimes Cleared
The FBI identifies seven “Part I Index Crimes” based on their seriousness and frequency of occurrence. These are: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, and auto theft. Crimes can be cleared in two ways: by arrest or by exception. A crime is cleared exceptionally when a circumstance prevents an arrest, such as 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 reports crimes and clearances to the FBI, whose Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program provides for 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 2013-14 and earlier), we report the FBI’s UCR clearance rate, which is based on a calendar year and is considered official. For the current year (FY 2014-15), the clearance rate is based on fiscal year and is considered unofficial until the FBI releases its final results in late 2016.
FY 2014-15 Results
This measure had a goal of 14.3% for FY 2014-15. The result was 16.3%, exceeding the goal by 2%.
Assessment of Results
The FY 2014-15 result was 1.5% lower than the FY 2013-14 result and 0.4%% higher than the average of the last four years (FY 2010-11 through FY 2013-14), 15.9%.
For calendar year 2014 – the year with the most recent official results – Austin’s clearance rate for Part I crimes was 17.8%, which was higher than the 16.8% clearance rate of other large US cities. Looking at the crime types, Austin cleared 53% of violent crime, which was higher than the 36% rate for large US cities. Austin cleared 15% of property crime in, which was higher than the 13% rate 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.
As special events have continued to grow in the city, APD has been required to develop redeployment plans that provide safety to citizens and visitors. The redeployment plan has included assigning detectives to work special events activities over the past several years, taking these resources away from their daily duties related to investigating and clearing cases. In March 2015, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) stepped forward to provide staff to work barricades during the SXSW festival. DPS provided a total of 3,027.5 hours that allowed APD detectives to stay focused on their caseloads. Partnerships such as this help the department perform at higher levels.
APD plans to deploy a Property Crimes Task Force during FY 2015-16 to improve clearance rates and prevent these types of crimes from occurring. Ten new officer positions have been dedicated to the unit from the FY 2014-15 Budget and supervisors were added in the FY 2015-16 Budget.
For more information contact Art Acevedo, Chief of Police at (512) 974-5030.