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VERIFY: Austin is not 'one of the most dangerous cities in America,' as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick claims

He made the claim at a press conference in Houston.

AUSTIN, Texas — During a press conference in Houston with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and police officers, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick claimed that Austin is "one of the most dangerous cities in America."

At the "Back the Blue" press conference Oct. 29, Patrick said, "The City of Austin is a disaster if you haven't been there. A great city – now one of the most dangerous cities in America and definitely in Texas."

KVUE looked into the claim that Austin is one of the most dangerous cities in America and in Texas.

THE QUESTION:

Is Austin one of the most dangerous cities in America?

THE ANSWER:

No. This claim is false.

Looking at Austin's crime rate in 2019 compared to 2020, and looking at how Austin's violent crime rate compares to Texas and cities of similar size, KVUE can verify that Austin is not "one of the most dangerous cities in America" or in Texas.

WHAT WE FOUND:

According to the Austin Police Department's September 2020 crime report, crimes against people – including murder, kidnapping, rape and aggravated assault – remain the same compared to this point in 2019.

That report also shows that crimes against property – such as robbery, arson, burglary and car theft – are down 1% compared to this point so far in 2019.

According to FBI statistics from 2019, Austin's violent crime rate is slightly lower than the state of Texas as a whole. With a population of 986,062, there were about 400 violent crime cases per 100,000 people in 2019 across the City of Austin.

That's lower than Texas as a whole, which had about 419 violent crime cases per 100,000 people in 2019. In San Antonio, the violent crime rate was about 708 per 100,000 people. Houston and Dallas do not appear to be listed on the FBI's report.

Compared to three other U.S. cities that are most similar by population, Austin has a lower crime rate, according to FBI stats from 2019.

In Columbus, Ohio, a city with a population of 906,120 people, the crime rate is 503 per 100,000 people. In Jacksonville, Florida, there were about 647 violent crimes per 100,000 people. And the violent crime rate in San Jose is about 438 per 100,000 people.

The U.S. as a whole has a violent crime rate of about 380 per 100,000 people.

Is there something you'd like to see verified by KVUE? Text KVUE at 512-459-9442. 

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