Dallas has a lot to offer residents and visitors. According to Forbes, Dallas ranks as one of the best places to retire in 2020. With access to business opportunities, sports, education, entertainment, and quality housing, Dallas has a lot to offer.

However, one of the serious drawbacks of living in Dallas is a high crime rate. Dallas is one of the five most dangerous cities in America. That distinction is based on reported violent crimes such as:

One source indicates that the crime rate in Dallas is higher than roughly 90 percent of cities in the United States. City officials and the police department have been under intense pressure to address the increase in violent crimes in Dallas.

Violent Crime Rates Increase Throughout Dallas

Violent crime rates increased in 2020 for several types of criminal activity. However, some types of crimes have seen a decrease in the number of reported incidents. 

According to statistics from the Dallas Police Department, aggravated assaults increased by about 21 percent so far in 2020. On the other hand, rapes and robberies have declined from the 2019 figures. 

Last year, Dallas experienced a sharp increase in the number of violent crimes. For example, there was a 27 percent increase in the number of homicides from 2018 to 2019. There was also a 27 percent increase in the number of aggravated assaults and a 14 percent increase in robberies of individuals in 2019.

The numbers for 2020 seem to be continuing the trend in violent crime rates. In July, aggravated assaults and murders increased sharply from the 2019 rates. The increase in violent crime rates in 2020 follows the record-setting rates for 2019.

The Dallas Police Department reported a 108 percent increase in homicides in July 2020 compared to the same period from 2019. Mayor Johnson calls the increases in violent crimes in Dallas unacceptable. 

Why Are Violent Crime Rates Increasing?

The Dallas Police Department released a Violent Crime Reduction Plan in 2020. The plan cited several objections, including a five percent overall reduction in violent crimes. However, the plan has not met its goals thus far in 2020.

As city officials and residents demand answers, many people are wondering why crime rates are increasing in the city. Some people blame COVID-19 for the increase in violent crimes. The financial, health, and emotional stress placed on individuals and communities because of the pandemic could result in a higher-than-normal rate of violent crimes.

However, COVID-19 is only one factor. There could be many factors that increase the rate of violent crimes in a large city. Some sources cite “de-policing” as a factor in the increase of violent crimes in large cities.

De-policing occurs when the police force pulls back from proactive policing efforts because of concerns related to excessive force and other police misconduct. The theory is known as the “Ferguson Effect.”  

Some individuals may interpret high-profile cases as an unfair judicial system. Some individuals may feel empowered to engage in behaviors that challenge the legitimacy of law enforcement. It can also encourage some individuals not to turn to law enforcement when crimes are committed.

Another factor could be a lack of funding for police departments and law enforcement agencies. Cutbacks in funding can result in decreased patrols and other initiatives to prevent crime.

The state of civil unrest is also being blamed for the increase in some violent crimes. Protestors and counter-protestors may clash. Criminals may use protests as a cover for some criminal activities. 

A lack of law enforcement officers could also be a factor in the increase in violent crimes. Many officers are retiring or choosing new career paths for personal and professional reasons. Until agencies can hire and train new officers, there are fewer officers policing cities.

It is most likely that the increase in crime rates is a combination of many factors. Some factors may be long-term factors that continue to plague major cities, such as high rates of homelessness and unemployment. Other factors, such as COVID-19, may be short-term factors that cause spikes in the number of violent crimes.

How Can Dallas Residents Protect Themselves From Violent Crimes?

Residents can take proactive steps to protect themselves from becoming victims of violent crimes. Business and home security systems can help deter criminals from certain crimes. Always lock your vehicle doors when you are in the vehicle and when it is parked. 

The Dallas Police Department has numerous crime prevention resources on its website. Columbia University and the National Crime Prevention Council also have personal safety tips on their websites.