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January 24, 2007

Dear Houstonian,

Today, I and Police Chief Harold Hurtt released year-end statistics for 2006 which indicate that the overall crime rate and crime rates in almost every category decreased during 2006, compared to the previous year. We believe the crime-fighting tactics and strategies we have employed are taking effect.

The overall crime rate, per 100,000 citizens decreased by 5.7 percent. The rate of non-violent crimes fell 5.8 percent, and the rate of overall violent crimes fell 5.3 percent.

The only category which showed an increase, the homicide rate, rose 4.9 percent during the year. Still, we are encouraged that the number of homicides in the last three months of 2006 and through this month are dramatically down from the same period in 2005. It is too early to say it's a long-term trend, but we are optimistic and will continue to work to bring all crime down.

No crime is acceptable, and we are never going to be satisfied or complacent. But Houston remains a safe city. It has been safer over the last three years (2004-2006) than it was over the previous three years (2001-2003) and the men and women of the Houston Police Department are working hard and being highly productive.

As I said, we think these crime statistics, coupled with our aggressive crime-fighting programs and tactics are paying off. The number of felony arrests in Houston went up 20 percent during 2006.

The data below, in .pdf format, include numbers showing that the average violent crime rates during the last three years are 7 percent lower than during 2001-2003.

This data is also posted on the city's web site, beneath City Headlines, at

Bill White