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Police Data Shows South Austin Crime Dropping
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:15 PM CDT
Michelle Young has lived in South Austin for more than 20 years and she says she doesn't want to live anywhere else. That's despite all the recent reports of murders and attacks on women joggers.
She says her family is always aware of their surroundings. "I have four boys and I'm always keeping an eye on them. They buddy up, they don't ever go out by themselves and I'm around or my husband's around," she says.
Other South Austin residents like Brandon Stahl are worried crime will go up even further. He lives by South Manchaca and recently invested in security equipment. "We recently decided to install a home security system because of all the murders that are going on, we have taken precautions," said Stahl.
Despite the fear amongst South Austin residents, data KEYE TV acquired from the Austin Police Department shows the opposite.
When we compared violent crimes statistics from the last six months of 2011 to the last three years we found a steady decline.
In 2009 there were 878 violent crimes reported in the South Austin area. Then in 2010, the number went down to 852 reported violent crimes. The last six months of 2011 saw a further decrease in those types of crimes, ending the year with 733 reports.
Numbers for murder cases kept constant through 2009 and 2001, but rape and domestic violence had a dramatic decrease with 25 fewer cases reported.
Some South Austin residents are taking action and collaborating with local authorities and other neighborhoods to ensure safety.
Roger Casanova lives just a few streets from the January 8 murder of high school student Mark Brandon Dominguez and has a Facebook group called Community Awareness of South Austin or CASA. He posts daily tips about how to avoid becoming a victim of criminal activity and community events with local authorities.
Casanova says he's seen the Canterburty Trails neighborhood he lives in start to change perception about crime in the area. "Let's bring in some more people, let's get some more eyes and ears," he said.
CASA group members are not only from South Austin, there are residents from all over taking advantage of initiatives like this one.