Major Crime Down Statewide and in Houston

"Property crime rates decreased 3.2% in 2008. The violent crime decreased only .6%, but those two things combined helped the rate go down."

That's DPS's Tela Mange. Not all crimes categories were down, aggravated assaults increased 4% statewide.

In Houston, aggravated assaults and rapes increased last year but the other major crimes categories murder, robbery, burglary, larceny and vehicle thefts were all down for a citywide crime rate decrease of 8.4%.

Mange says DPS gets crime stats from local police departments.

"They collect that information about what they've been doing all year and they send that to DPS. We collect it and then send it on the Federal Bureau of Investigation for them to compile nationwide crime statistics."

The statistics are believed to be fairly accurate, but they can't be completely accurate because reporting them is voluntary.

"So, some agencies chose not to participate, but the vast majorities of law enforcement agencies in Texas do participate."

The Texas Uniform Crime Reporting Program also gathers data on hate crimes. In 2008 there were 246 hate crime incidents, about the same as 2007.
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