Crime in Downtown Dallas has been on the rise this year, with City data indicating there has been an increase of more than 7% in overall offenses in the area.

According to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard, as of December 14 some 4,451 criminal offenses were logged in the Dallas Police Department’s Sector 130, which comprises Historic Downtown and Victory Park. This marks a 7.5% spike over the 4,141 crimes recorded during the same period last year.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Metroplex Civic & Business Association (MCBA) recently suggested that DPD’s ongoing staffing shortage has been a factor in rising crime in the city center.

“The City of Dallas is continuing to lose police officers and now has barely over 3,000 officers. Higher levels of police presence make crime less likely to occur. The City of Dallas must get crime under control if it hopes to retain the businesses that are there,” reads a press release recently sent to The Dallas Express by MCBA. “Additionally, as more high-rise office buildings are converted into residential units, they become increasingly less attractive if crime remains high.”

A City analysis advised that some 4,000 sworn peace officers are likely necessary in order to properly maintain public safety and keep police response times down, The Dallas Express has reported.

The most common criminal offenses committed in Sector 130 have by far been vehicle-related, with car burglaries and motor vehicle thefts hitting 985 and 922, respectively. Such criminal activity has accelerated over 2022. Car burglaries have spiked by 8.4%, and auto thefts skyrocketed by 41.2%.

Downtown Dallas has also been dealing with high levels of homelessness and vagrancy.

“[Vagrants] are individuals that end up staying on the street longer, the ones that need addiction support and mental health treatment, the ones stealing to eat. They’re assaulting people to get money. It creates a dynamic where they’re kind of in a fight or flight situation; they’re trying to survive,” MCBA CEO Louis Darrouzet previously told The Dallas Express.

MCBA conducts a monthly comparative study examining crime in Downtown Dallas and Fort Worth’s city center. Each month has seen the former outpace the latter across several categories of crime, including motor vehicle thefts, assault offenses, drug crimes, and destruction of property. Downtown Fort Worth is reportedly patrolled by a special police unit working alongside private security guards.

More than 80% of respondents to a poll conducted by The Dallas Express said they were concerned with the levels of homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling seen in Dallas. Such polling also indicates there is significant support for the “one-stop-shop” model employed by San Antonio’s Haven for Hope. The model has been credited with reducing homelessness in the city by 77%.

Some local stakeholders are working to bring the “one-stop-shop” model to Dallas, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. However, it is unclear whether City officials will embrace the approach.