Waco Crime Trends, 1930 – 2013: A Comparative Study of Violent, Property, and Index Crime Rates
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This thesis examines long-term trends of violent, property, and index crimes in Waco between 1930 and 2013. Data were drawn from the Uniform Crime Reports for the crime rates of Waco, the United States, Texas, three major cities of Texas (Dallas, Austin, and Houston), and four neighboring cities of Waco (Bellmead, Robinson, Hewitt, and Woodway). While crime rates of Waco were higher than those of the U.S. and Texas when examined since 1960, the rates have been decreasing for the last twenty years faster than those of other cities as well as the U.S. and Texas. To explore whether the pattern of crime rates was related to community characteristics, Waco’s social, familial, and economic statistics were collected using the decennial Census data. Being consistent with Social Disorganization Theory, findings show that the economic condition and family structure of Waco changed similarly to the crime trend. Implications of findings are discussed.