Downtown Crime Ticks Up Amid Homelessness, Vagrancy Crisis

Homeless man sitting on sidewalk
Homeless man sitting on sidewalk | Image by Loch Earn/Shutterstock

Crime in Downtown Dallas has been on the rise this year, with the Dallas Police Department logging a year-over-year increase of more than 7% in the city center.

According to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard, there have been 3,855 criminal offenses in DPD Sector 130 as of October 29, marking a 7.4% jump over the 3,591 incidents recorded in the same period last year.

Sector 130 comprises the Downtown Historic District and much of neighboring Victory Park. The jurisdiction is roughly split between Council Member Jesse Moreno’s District 2 and Council Member Paul Ridley’s District 14.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Downtown Dallas has been a hotbed of crime, homelessness, and vagrancy, with criminal offenses like auto theft and theft from a motor vehicle spiking.

“If people are trying to get off the streets, local government … and organizations doing outreach should act like bumpers,” said Louis Darrouzet, CEO of the Metroplex Civic & Business Association, speaking with The Dallas Express about the City’s seemingly passive response to homelessness and crime. “They should be moving people along a path. Maybe they try to go to this side or that side, but [authorities] should say, ‘No, that’s not okay.’ It moves them in the direction of getting back on their feet.”

City data indicates that there has been an 8.7% bump in car burglaries in Sector 130 this year, with 852 incidents recorded in 2023. Auto thefts, however, shot up by 40.1% year over year in the sector, with 797 reports logged.

Officials have acknowledged that more officers are needed to address the rising crime rates. DPD Chief Eddie Garcia, for instance, suggested car thefts have been on the rise because of the department’s staffing shortage.

“Staffing has always been an issue, there’s no question about it,” the chief said. “The city of Dallas is the ninth largest city in the country, and I have about 12 individuals assigned to auto theft.”

The City has estimated that Dallas needs roughly three officers for every 1,000 residents, which puts the ideal number of officers necessary to maintain public safety at about 4,000. DPD has fewer than 3,200 officers at present.

The staffing shortage has been especially felt in Downtown Dallas, which clocks considerably more criminal offenses than Fort Worth’s downtown area. The latter is reportedly patrolled by a special police unit working alongside private security guards.

Council Members Moreno and Ridley were not immediately available for comment.

The Dallas Express, The People’s Paper, believes that important information about the city, such as crime rates and trends, should be easily accessible to you. Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, according to data from the FBI’s UCR database.

How did your area stack up on crime? Check out our interactive Crime Map to compare all Dallas City Council Districts. Curious how we got our numbers? Check out our methodology page here.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article