Crime fell in Texas last year, although Houston’s rose slightly, says the Houston Chronicle. Houston recorded 377 homicides last year, 13 percent more than in 2005 and the highest number since 1996. Houston’s homicide rate, 18 per 100,000 people last year, was the highest in a decade.
Raymond Teske, a professor of criminal justice at Sam Houston State University, attributed the drop in statewide crime rates to tougher prison sentences. “We’ve been holding the core criminals in prison much longer and they account for the majority of crime,” he said. The influx of retirees and middle-class professionals, not your typical crime-prone population, also accounts for the dip, Teske said. Authorities made an arrest in 72 percent of the homicides committed last year and 75 percent the year before.