From the scene of the Embassy Suites officer-involved shooting on Tuesday morning April 24, 2018.
San Antonio Police work a crime scene in downtown San Antonio. Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard Report

The rate of violent crime in San Antonio dropped slightly in 2017 while the overall crime rate increased, according to data released by the FBI and an analysis by the Rivard Report.

The most recent figures for 2017 show the continuation of an upward trend in the city’s overall crime rate that began in 2015. The overall crime rate includes property crime, such as burglary and vehicle theft, and violent crime, which includes homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

The rate of violent crime dropped 0.5 percent to 523.9 incidents per 100,000 people from 526.4 incidents, according to the FBI’s 2017 Uniform Crime Report released Tuesday. A total of 10,760 violent crimes were committed in San Antonio in 2017.

San Antonio’s violent crime rate has been volatile for the last two decades. Overall, violent crime rates in the city increased 8 percent since 1995, the earliest data reported by the FBI.

The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) said declines in violent crime in 2017 from 2016 are due to the department’s efforts to proactively target criminals.

“We attribute the decline to initiatives, such as the Violent Crimes Task Force, that proactively combat violent crimes and target those involved in high-risk behavior,” said Sgt. Michelle Ramos, an SAPD public information officer. “SAPD remains committed to improving the quality of life for San Antonio residents.”

The overall crime rate, which includes violent crimes and property crimes, has declined by 21 percent since 1995 despite spiking in 1996, 2001, and 2008.

While the FBI did not report figures for San Antonio’s 2017 property crime rate, an analysis by the Rivard Report estimates that the overall crime rate in San Antonio for 2017 was 5,285 incidents for every 100,000 people, based on the total number of violent and property crimes for that year and the city’s current population estimate.

The total number of property and violent crimes occurring in San Antonio in 2017 was 82,205, according to the FBI’s data. SAPD reports that violent crimes have dropped 12 percent and property crime dropped 19 percent since September 2017.

Statewide, violent crime inched upwards in 2017 from 433.8 to 438.9 crimes for every 100,000 Texans, the data shows. Over the same period, the national violent crime rate decreased slightly — from 397.5 to 394 crimes per 100,000 people.

Emily Royall

Emily Royall

Emily Royall is the Rivard Report's former data director.