Austin seeing increase in crime

Wave of violence during Austin's busiest time of year, SXSW

AUSTIN - As the city's population continues to increase, so does violent crime.

And these past two weeks have been a prime example of that. There's been a wave of violence during one of Austin's busiest times: South by Southwest.

The first three months of 2017 are already outpacing 2016.

In 2016, there were three murders in January, February and March. Austin has seen four murders so far in January and February alone in 2017. 2016 was the first time in 10 years the murder rate went up in Austin. It amounted to an overall increase in violent crimes by 10 percent. There were 40 in 2016 and 24 in 2015. According to analysts, the city typically sees between 20 and 40 homicides a year.

And since March 10, violence has left six more dead -- with four facing criminal charges and at least seven other suspects who haven't been identified or charged.

And another point of concern for police is the uptick in armed robberies. So far this year, there have been 187 robbery reports -- 92 of those armed. In nine of those cases, the robbers fired their weapons.

So what's being done?

Police leadership have stressed to the city that more resources are needed. At the start of this year, the department was short-staffed by more than 100 officers.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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