Is Property Crime Rising In Austin Because Of Police Budget Cuts?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Brandon Mulder, PolitiFact/Austin American-Statesman; radio story produced by Alexandra HartOctober 14, 2020 1:07 pm,

From PolitiFact Texas:

As part of a sustained campaign to criticize the Austin City Council’s August decision to cut police funding, Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted on Oct. 1: “Property crime rising in Austin This is the kind of thing that happens when cities defund and deemphasize police. Residents are left to fend for themselves.”

The tweet cited a KVUE article that highlighted an advisory from the Austin Police Department warning residents to secure their homes before going on a trip. The article noted 2,983 burglaries had occurred through the first eight months of this year — an 11% increase over the first eight months of last year, according to the Austin Police Department’s August crime report.

But burglary is not the only form of property crime, and Abbott’s assertion that property crime is rising in Austin fails to take that into account.

Property crime generally has been falling in Austin, with the notable recent exceptions of 2018 and 2019. So far this year, property crime has dropped slightly. And Abbott’s attempt to link crime to the City Council’s budget decision misses the mark.

It’s not the first time Abbott has sounded off on Austin crime.

Hear how Abbott’s claim scored in the audio player above, and read the full story here, at PolitFact Texas.

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