Amarillo, TX (KFDA) - Violent and property crimes have both decreased in Amarillo, according to the FBI's most recent report.
The FBI's Uniform Crime Report compares reported crimes from January through June of 2014 to January through June of 2015.
Murders and burglaries in Amarillo have stayed the same, but decreases were noted in rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny theft, car theft and arson.
"Any time we can have a reduction in criminal activity, we're going to be happy," said Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with APD's Crime Prevention Unit. "Is it something in particular that we're doing that's driving that number down? Unfortunately I'd have to say no."
But there are things that could be helping lower crime.
"We have an additional PACE Unit on force shift," said Neufeld. "Proactive criminal enforcement is what they're doing. They're going out after people who have been arrested before and they're out to no good. They're out breaking in to more cars, they're out breaking into houses, they're out robbing stores. That's who they focus on. If they're in jail they won't be out committing crimes."
There is also the chance of other law enforcement agencies purposefully skewing their data.
"Amarillo may be totally honest in reporting all the aggravated assaults," said Dr. Alfred Blumstein, a professor and criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University. "But if somebody else might want to see a reduction in crime, they might take some of the marginal aggravated assaults and call them simple assaults and not report them."
Statewide, Amarillo has stayed steady or decreased in rankings for every category except auto theft.
Even with 56 fewer auto theft cases reported, Amarillo is now the city with the fourth highest number of vehicle thefts in Texas per capita.
"We could really drive these numbers way down if people would take their purses out of their cars," said Neufeld. "Don't leave their laptops in their cars and take a few extra precautions around their homes to make them more secure."
These numbers are just for the first half of 2015. Reported crimes could increase when data for the second half of the year is collected.