Reported cases of kidnapping in Dallas have risen by more than 15% this year, and the overwhelming majority of victims have been women or girls of color.
There have been a total of 112 kidnappings reported within Dallas city limits as of August 24, up from the 97 cases logged during the same time period last year, according to the City of Dallas Open Data victim demographics dashboard.
City data indicates that 80.4% of victims were female, with ages ranging from 7 to 60. Out of those 90 victims, 34 were black (37.8%), and 43 were Hispanic or Latina (47.8%). Geographic data from the dashboard suggests the kidnappings were spread out across the city, but one council district had significantly more reported incidents than the others.
According to the dashboard, more women and girls of color were reported kidnapped in Council Member Omar Narvaez’s District 6 in 2023 than in any other council district.
Out of the 17 reports in District 6 where the victims were female, five of the victims were black women or girls, and 11 were Hispanic or Latina. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, District 6 has regularly clocked the most reported instances of prostitution-related criminal offenses.
In a previous interview with The Dallas Express, anti-violence activist Antong Lucky of the nonprofit Urban Specialists suggested some of the dynamics of Dallas’ crime problem stem from longstanding tensions between the police department and neighborhoods where the majority of residents are either black or Latino.
“Communities of color feel as though there is a blue wall of silence, that there is no accountability of police, that officers sit out and watch their colleagues do heinous stuff. And then you have officers saying to the community, ‘Hey, when something heinous happened, you didn’t tell us who did it.’ That’s a real thing, whether we accept it or not,” Lucky told The Dallas Express.
Adding to the issue is the Dallas Police Department’s staffing problems. The department has been short-staffed for years now. It currently maintains a force of around 3,100 officers. A City report recommends that a municipality the size of Dallas should have about three officers for every 1,000 residents, putting an ideal staffing level at approximately 4,000 officers.