Posted Tuesday, March 4th 2014 @ 4am by Jim Forsyth
San Antonio's crime rate was down one percent in 2012, with several types of crimes showing steep declines, City Council will be told on Wednesday.
Advance numbers obtained by 1200 WOAI news show the 72 homicides that took place in the city in 2013, down from 89 in 2012, was the fewest murders in one year in San Antonio since 1970, when the city's population of about 640,000 was leas than half what it is today.
Fully 75% of those murders ended with the suspect in custody, up from a 69% homicide clearance rate in 2012, and compared to the nationwide homicide clearance rate of 63%.
The two types of crimes which affect the most people, burglary and larceny, were also both down in 2013, burglaries down five percent and larceny, which is simple theft, like shoplifting or stealing items from cars, was down three percent. Overall property crime was down by 3% in 2013, with burglary and larceny at their lowest points in five years. The clearance rate for burglary, the number of burglaries which end with the burglar in jail, was up 35% last year.
Other violent crimes, like rape and aggravated assault, were up in 2013,and an increase in rapes is expected to continue in 2014, because the definition of the crime was expanded by the FBI. Even though violent crime rates were up, clearance rates for those crimes were also up.
The place the police are also ramping up their clearance rate is in motor vehicle theft. New in-car technology is helping police increase the clearance rate for auto theft to 33%.
The city says a 'variety of tactical strategies,' is behind the reduction in crime and higher clearance rates, including a 'concentrated effort' by property crimes detectives to clear burglary and robbery cases.