Austin ranked second safest major city in the U.S.



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Posted on October 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:03 AM

AUSTIN -- Police Chief Art Acevedo just released the 2012 crime stats, revealing both good and bad news for the City of Austin.

Despite a slight uptick in murders, from 27 in 2011 to 33 last year, Acevedo says he's proud of the stats.

The FBI's Unified Crime Report found that Austin is actually the second safest major city in the U.S. It's an improvement over 2011's rank of third.

The study compared Austin to other U.S. cities with more than 500,000 people, analyzing crime in two separate categories.

The study showed violent crimes were down overall by two percent. Rape and robbery is decreasing, but murder and aggravated assault are going up. When it comes to property crime, however, all crimes are on the rise. Burglary, theft and auto theft crimes were up by three percent from 2011.

Police say there are areas that are challenges. 

"Twelfth and Chicon is one of the areas we've traditionally had issues with --  narcotics, prostitutions, and other various crimes," said APD Lt. Ismael Campa.

Phillip Ritcherson says back in the days of the Harlem Theater on 12th, parents knew where their kids were, but he says he sees the area coming back.  

"In the past year or two, it's very comfortable to be here," Ritcherson said.

Chief Acevedo says there are things you can do at home to help with the rising property crime rate. He says residents can install solid dead bolts on doors, take time to write down serial numbers of electronics, take pictures of jewelry and be a nosy neighbor. Speak up if you think something isn't right on your block.

When asked why he thinks violent crime has decreased in Austin despite the growing population, Chief Acevedo credits two things. He says it stems from the good relationship citizens have with the police and the excellent work officers do on the streets every day.

Go here to read the full statistics report.