The FBI's latest crime report revealed a mixed bag for the Bayou City. While Houston's murder rate fell slightly last year, the city has experienced an uptick in violent crime.
Nationwide, murders spiked 8.6 percent last year, following a 10 percent rise in 2015.
“Cities like Chicago, we've seen over the last several years a significant increase in the homicide rate and that tends skew the overall national data,” Dr. Tom Nolan with State University of New York.
However, Nolan insists the numbers are not all bad.
“Over the long term we are still in a period of decline of crime, in particular violent crime, despite what can be described as an uptick or a spike in the last couple of years,” he says.
Houston saw an 8.9 percent rise in violent crime last year, but that's still down 12 percent compared to 2006.
Nolan says many rapes and violent crime go unreported, especially in Latino neighborhoods where some immigrants fear deportation if they speak to police.
“Thirty-three percent of sexual assaults are reported to police, and it's believed a mass majority of them are never reported to police, so I think it is prudent not to draw too many conclusions from Uniform Crime Report statistics,” he says.
He says there are also socioeconomic and migratory factors that impact cime statistics from city-to-city and region-to-region.