Report says property crime in Austin increased 8% from 2018 to 2019


(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a cut to Austin Police Department’s funding was proposed Monday, the Greater Austin Crime Commission released a report detailing crime stats in the city.

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk presented the budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 on Monday. In it was a proposed $11.3 million cut to APD, which would do away with 100 vacant police officer positions.

The proposed cuts come after Austin City Council approved resolutions focused on police reform and racial justice, which asked for those positions to be removed.

Now, the Crime Commission is asking for decisions to be made based on data and for people to consider how the cuts could affect public safety, especially in regards to response times and crime rates.

The commission’s report, which pulls numbers directly from APD, says aggravated assaults not related to family violence were up 15% citywide from 2018 to 2019, and individual robberies were up 6%.

However, the report says there was no overall change in violent crime in general when factoring in other incidents like rape, robberies and homicides, with 3,874 total cases recorded in 2018 and 3,877 in 2019.

While there was no overall change in violent crime throughout the city, the report says violent crime did increase in the downtown area and entertainment district.

Property crime saw an increase throughout the city, especially in the entertainment district.

According to the report, property crime including auto theft and burglaries increased 8% from 2018 to 2019, with auto thefts making the biggest increase of 21%.

The report also shows an increase in response times for emergency and urgent calls for eight years in a row, starting in 2011.

The average response time then was six minutes and 45 seconds, and over the years it increased to eight minutes and 40 seconds in 2018.

The report from the commission also covers community policing or engagement time and the public safety budget as a whole.

Potential money cut from APD would be used to fund community programs including mental health services and affordable housing, the city says.

You can view the whole Greater Austin Crime Commission report below.

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