Overall major crime rate in Texas drops in 2012

Yet DPS also says the actual number of violent crimes has increased

AUSTIN - The overall major crime rate in Texas has dropped, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

DPS announced Wednesday that while the crime rate has dropped, the actual number of crimes committed in the state has increased.

According to data compiled by the DPS Uniform Crime Reporting program, the number of crimes per 100,000 people in Texas decreased by three percent in 2012 compared to 2011.

However, the actual number of crimes compared from one year to the next reflects a 1.2 percent increase in violent crimes from 2011 to 2012.

According to DPS director Steven McCraw, the DPS is pleased that the overall crime rate has decreased, but it is concerning that Texas experienced an increase in the actual number of violent crimes, simultaneously.

"Moreover, we are still relying on a crime index reporting program from the 1930s that does not reflect an accurate picture of the threats posed by criminal enterprise organizations currently operating in our state," said McCraw.

Crimes like drug smuggling, extortion,  human trafficking, money laundering and bribery are not reflected in current UCR data.

The adoption of the National Incident Based Reporting System would address those categories and categories relevant to accurately accessing the impact of all crimes commited.

The UCR program only collects reported crimes in murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft and arson from Texas law enforcement agencies.

"If more Texas law enforcement agencies adopted NIBRS, Texas would have more accurate and meaningful crime data to aid all levels of government in the development of impactful crime-reduction strategies as well as the appropriate deployment of resources, and would better assist law enforcement leaders in their decision-making process," said Director McCraw.

Copyright 2013 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.