San Antonio, the seventh-largest city in the United States, is home to 1.3 million San Antonians and over 3 million residents living in its Metropolitan Statistical Area—making it the 28th most populous metropolitan area in the country.
Crime rates vary wildly from one neighborhood to another. The largely poor West Side is known for its high crime rate and gang activity while well-to-do North Central neighborhoods such as Hill Country Village are safer than many US cities on a per capita basis; bringing up an average of 15 crimes per year (excluding any unreported crimes). For reference–15 crimes per year would be considered extremely low by any standard despite there being at least 8 police departments patrolling Bexar County alone on a regular basis.
Crime in San Antonio is relatively high, but the overall crime rate is not as bad as other major cities when considering the population density. For example, San Antonio’s homicide total for 2011 was 92 which is lower than Houston (399), Philadelphia (248) and Phoenix (265). In 2010 there were a total of 549 murders in all of Texas—a state with over 26 million residents compared to just over 1 million living in San Antonio proper.
In 2013 there were at least 124 homicides committed in Bexar county & surrounding areas according to news reports from local news outlets like MySA.com or KSAT.com that are based on Police Department tallies. This number includes unreported crimes– should be taken into consideration before calling the San Antonio crime rate unjustifiable.
San Anto Cultural Arts, a local non-profit arts organization is calling for support to help raise awareness of the low crime rate and safety among some of San Antonio’s most dangerous neighborhoods by asking artists in the region to decorate porches in their respective neighborhoods with murals as a means of “decreasing fear and increasing love”. The porches will be photographed & publicly displayed on a website http://sanantoniocreategallery.org/ In an effort to encourage visitors to explore these areas beyond stereotypes perpetuated by TV shows like Cops that only show sensationalized clips of crimes committed there.
San Antonio is a city that has one of the highest crime rates in Texas, but does not even rank within the top 100 for the United States as a whole. Despite this, it is important to remember that each neighborhood has its own unique history and crimes taking place in some neighborhoods should not reflect poorly on others.
San Antonio police chief William McManus stated that criminals are moving to small towns in Texas and committing property crimes that they would not have risked in large cities, saying “If you see some little old lady’s house or car with a Window smashed, there is a pretty good likelihood that it was done by somebody who lives or used to live here,” He also said that such small-town residents were responsible for an uptick in violent assaults against senior citizens due to their trusting natures as well as an increase in burglaries of businesses after dark during winter months and blamed local liberal judges for freeing defendants accused of burglaries and armed robberies.