The crime statistics on this page are all thanks to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) programs used by law enforcement agencies in Texas and nationwide. The first of these programs in the United States was the Committee on Uniform Crime Records, developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in the 1920s. The first IACP crime collection program, in 1930, was voluntary and gathered information from 400 police agencies in 43 states. The FBI was authorized as the national clearinghouse for the information collected by that program.

UCR programs collect data on a summary basis, which provides reliable information about crime but has many limitations. In 1985 a new system was outlined for Incident Based Reporting (IBR), whereby crime data is collected electronically and includes the circumstances of each incident. The national system, called NIBRS, has been slow to grow, but state programs and the FBI have worked in partnership to assist in the transition. In 2015, the Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s Advisory Policy Board set a goal to sunset summary reporting systems and adopt NIBRS by January 1, 2021.

Texas first adopted the Uniform Crime Report in 1976, and the Department of Public Safety accepted the responsibility of collecting, validating, and tabulating reports from across the state. The Uniform Crime Reporting Section, created specifically for this purpose, is part of the Crime Records Service division of the department.

The state became certified to collect NIBRS data in 1998, and in 2015, House Bill 11 set a goal to transition all of Texas to NIBRS by September 1, 2019. More than 50% of active UCR agencies committed to that goal, and more than 75% have stated commitment to complete the transfer by 2021. The state program will be working to meet the 2021 goal with those agencies that have not yet transitioned.

In Texas, the Department of Public Safety collects data for the national UCR program from police, sheriff’s offices, and its own officers. Data are estimated for nonreporting agencies and those that did not have 12 months of data. Agencies that contributed data for the 2017 Crime in Texas report include: 70 college and university police departments, 54 independent school district and zero-population police departments, 250 county sheriff’s offices, and 647 city police departments.

Crime Summary, 2017

  Texas Crime Rate 2017

During 2017, there was a reported total of 842,055 index offenses in Texas. This represents a crime-volume decrease of 5.0 percent when compared to 886,189 reported offenses in 2016.

In 2017, there were 2,975 crimes per 100,000 people, compared with 3,185.2 in 2016, according to data compiled by the Department of Public Safety’s UCR program. The crime rate is based on a 2017 population of 28,304,596, compared with a 2016 population of 27,821,692.

Monthly crime variations show that, in general, crime occurrences peaked in the month of May. During 2017, Texas law enforcement officers made 759,550 arrests, a decrease from the 808,634 arrests made in 2016.

Crime Profile of Texas Counties, 2017

Index Crimes

The 2017 violent crime rate increased 0.4 percent from 2016, and the nonviolent, or property, crime rate decreased 7.7 percent from 2016. Of the seven major crime categories, the UCR defines violent crime as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; property crime is defined as burglary, larceny/theft, and motor vehicle theft.

The value of property stolen during the commission of index crimes in 2017 was more than $1.9 billion, and about 26 percent of that property was recovered.

Arson

The reported number of arsons committed in Texas in 2017 was 3,294, a decrease of 6.2 percent compared with 3,512 in 2016. In 2017, arson victims suffered losses of $121 million, a 47.2 percent increase when compared with 2016 arson losses of more than $82 million.

Family Violence

Reports of family violence decreased by 0.6 percent in 2017 over 2016. In 2017, there were 185,453 reported incidents of family violence involving 212,307 victims and 207,231 offenders. In 2016, there were 188,992 reported incidents of family violence involving 219,782 victims and 219,785 offenders.

DUI and Drug-Related Crimes

In 2017 there were 69,372 DUI arrests in Texas, an increase of 11.3 percent from 2016. Of those arrests, 6.1 percent were of persons under the age of 21.

Texas reported 147,231 drug abuse arrests in 2017, an increase of 2.2 percent from the previous year. Sales and manufacturing arrests accounted for 19,288 of those arrests (about 13 percent), and the remaining 128,003 arrests (87 percent) were for possession.

In a breakdown by drug type, the arrests for sales and manufacturing were 53.3 percent synthetic narcotics, 21.9 percent opium or cocaine, 11.4 percent marijuana, and 13.4 percent other. By contrast, possession arrests were 50.4 percent marijuana, 19.9 percent opium or cocaine, 10.4 percent synthetic narcotics, and 19.3 percent other.

Hate Crimes

There were 190 hate crimes reported in Texas in 2017, an increase of 6.7 percent from 2016. Incidents involved a total of 229 victims and 209 offenders.

Broken down by bias motivation, 58.6 percent of incidents were motivated by race/ethnicity/ancestry, 21.7 percent by sexual orientation, 14.6 percent by religion, 3 percent by gender identity, 1 percent by disability, and 1 percent by gender. Crimes occurred most frequently in residences, and 47.3 percent of offenders were white, 11.8 percent were black, 11.2 percent were multiracial, and the racial group of 29.6 percent of offenders was unknown.

Law Enforcement Assaults and Deaths

Assaults on law enforcement personnel decreased 4.1 percent in 2017 to 4,553. Injuries resulted from 40.6 percent of incidents. Seven law officers were killed in the line of duty in 2017, and another seven died in duty-related accidents.

Texas Index Crime History

Source: Texas Department of Public Safety, Austin, www.dps.texas.gov; TDPS report Crime in Texas 2017