Houston murder rate plummets 27% in 2023, Chief Finner says

Houston residents can breathe a little easier now as crime numbers appear to be down compared to previous years. 

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A surge in Houston lawbreaking and violence unseen since the early 1990s may well be easing. In 2022, for example, it seemed like homicides and deadly shootings were dominating headlines to the point where lifelong residents, including myself, had to ask ourselves "has crime really always been this bad?"

Houston PD Chief Troy Finner, however, shared new reports before Houston City Council noting that the crime rate has decreased 6% year-over-year. Additionally, homicides are down 27% compared to the first quarter of 2022, as well as human trafficking is down by 23%, aggravated assault, and overall violent crime is down by 12%, robbery is down 10 %, and rape is down 6%. 

Even nonviolent crime has seen an overall decrease of 5%. The Chief still reassured the council members it will be an ongoing effort and will take everyone's assistance to maintain this downward trend. 

"We still have to make smart decisions," Chief Finner said. "We still have to help our neighbors out. Summer is coming, and we got to group together stronger."

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Property crime has seen a slight increase, however, with car thefts up 14% and burglary up 2%. On a brighter note, catalytic converter thefts are down, with commodity prices lowering and punishments for thieves getting harsher. 

"My focus, my goal, and everybody in this police department and everybody in the criminal justice system is to continue to drive those numbers down," Chief Finner added. "You look at the numbers and the truth speaks. 


Mayor Sylvester Turner credited his 14-month-old "One Safe Houston" Initiative for the downtick in crime, while also admonishing the hyper-permissive bond policies of some District Court judges as documented by FOX 26 reporter Randy Wallace.

"Just like I saw a story the other night and people are carrying machine guns and all that other stuff, judges have to keep them [in jail] longer," he said. "You can't put them back on the street. That works against everybody."

"People are coming together," Chief Finner concluded. "We are safer than we were last year, and we are never satisfied."