Despite an increase in rapes and other violent crimes in the last six months, Police Chief David Brown said Monday that Dallas is the safest it has been in more than four decades.
In the last six months, 199 rapes have been reported. In the same time period last year, the department received reports of 177 rapes.
Overall crime in Dallas is down by 1.2 percent so far this year, but violent crime is up by 5.4 percent. The homicide rate is down, but robbery, aggravated assault and rapes in the first six months of this year have all increased in comparison to last year.
Despite the increase in reported sexual assaults, Brown said the number of rapes is lower than it was four decades ago. In analyzing trends, he believes the rate will go down in the later half of the year, he said.
"It's the lowest rate of rape in the city in 45 years, since 1968," Brown said.
Brown said police are working with others to catch sexual assault suspects. For example, a man suspected in a series of rapes in Lake Highlands was arrested because the department saturated the neighborhood and worked with other Metroplex police departments.
Residents of the Chimney Hill neighborhood are seeing similar efforts after a man tried to sexually assault two women who were walking their dogs. Police are patrolling the area on horseback and on bikes.
"It was very scary because I come out here in [the] wee hours of the morning," said Linda Lee, who babysits in the neighborhood and spends much of her time at her daughter's home. "That's very encouraging to know that they are around."
Brown said one way sex assaults can be brought down is through reporting. The more victims that come forward, the more information police have to find those responsible.
More: Dallas Crime Report