LUBBOCK, Texas — A new report published last week by the home security company Safewise ranks Lubbock as the third most dangerous city in the United States. Data from the Lubbock Police Department does not support this claim, and the department listed what they claim are numerous flaws to the study.
The department first criticized the company’s use of FBI crime statistics, which are collected by individual departments self-reporting crime data and has not been updated in two years. They claim this prevents the ability to accurately compare varying departments data, as other variables such as reporting consistency and accuracy may skew the numbers. LPD also cast doubt on a study’s ability to name the most dangerous cities in 2021 based on data from 2019.
“We have released more recent data,” Allison Matherly of the Lubbock Police Department said. “What we are seeing so far in 2021 is that many of our violent crime numbers actually decreased.”
More recent data from LPD’s 2020 Annual Report shows a more positive outlook towards the city’s crime rates.
Crimes against property decreased 11 percent overall last year. Home and car burglaries decreased 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Crimes against people, such as assaults, murder, and robbery, increased slightly by 2 percent overall.
Certain high risk crimes spiked significantly – Driving While Intoxicated offenses rose 11 percent, and homicides more than doubled, totaling 41 last year. Lt. Leath McClure of the Lubbock Police Department says 2020 was an anomaly year of high crime, and says those concerning numbers are trending downward in 2021.
Notably, the Safewise study coupled property crimes with violent crimes, leaving no distinction between the two. Lubbock Police Department drew distinctions between the threats each crime category poses to one’s safety in the city.
“If you’re not involved in illegal activity, the chances of you being involved in any kind of violent crime is extremely low,” Lt. McClure said. “We very seldom see any crime where it’s random, where someone is attacked for no apparent reason.”