On an average day, 1,700 people call Dallas police for help concerning crimes large and small. Amid the din of all those daily reports, many victims wonder how likely it is that whoever wronged them will be punished. While no single measuring stick can predict whether a case will be solved, or cleared, the clearance rates tallied each month by the Dallas Police Department come close, reports the city’s Morning News. “They represent the ability of cops to solve crime and apprehend offenders,” said James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University in Boston.
How those rates vary among different types of offenses illustrates the possibilities and pitfalls of different kinds of police work. For example, authorities clear about seven of every 10 murder cases in Dallas but only about seven of every 100 burglaries. The sheer volume of crimes spreads police resources thin, and violent crimes take priority over lesser property crimes. Also, crimes like burglary and theft tend to lack the witnesses and evidence often present in murders and rapes, and authorities focus on the offenses they can solve. The paper said the clearance rate is 44 percent for assault, 17 percent for robbery and just 6 percent for burglary.