AUSTIN, Texas - According to a new report by the Austin Police Department, gun crime is up in Austin.
Interim APD Chief Joseph Chacon says there’s no clear reason as to why those numbers are up, but the department is working on bringing those numbers down.
According to Austin police's recent gun crime report, 2020 had a total of 1546 major violent offenses involving a gun, including crimes like murder and aggravated assault:
- 2015 - 689
- 2016 - 972
- 2017 - 980
- 2018 - 1002
- 2019 - 1052
- 2020- 1546
Comparing that to the last five years, that is a significant increase.
"I don't have any clear direction to be able to tell you this is exactly why we're seeing more guns," said Chief Chacon.
READ THE FULL REPORT BELOW:
The Chief does mention that guns are easier to obtain than ever before. "I think that because of that, we're seeing it's just easier for people to get their hands on guns and it's becoming, you know, just more common that people are actually using them and discharging them during offenses," he said.
Crimes such as murder, robbery, and aggravated assault all went up in 2020. Chief Chacon says it is important for the department to see these numbers so they can establish trends and hotspots.
"As we see the hotspots, we go a little bit deeper into it, and really get down to those street segments where we are seeing increased crime, and using evidence to see how we can address crime out there. It really is a holistic approach," he said.
The number of lost and seized firearms also increased last year. Also, APD is seeing an uptick in domestic violence incidents with guns over the past five years. Chief Chacon says to get all these numbers down, community policing will be another essential asset.
"If we want to have a real measured impact and the way that our community is going to feel about lowering crime and feeling safe in their communities, we have to get them involved in that process. That is community policing," said the Chief.
Chief Chacon also adds that a new cadet class is needed to bring the gun crime rate down.