Wednesday, December 21, 2005

New Orleans brings the crime to Houston

Nation: I hate to say it, but there is a reason why Baton Rouge and other places around New Orleans did not want evacuees around their area. Yes, some of it is due to color but a lot to do with the culture.

The city of Houston has seen a dramatic spike in the number of homicides so far this year, most of it in the last several months, Houston Police Department Chief Harold Hurtt said today. To date, 324 homicides have been reported this year, compared to 263 in the same period in 2004, he said, an increase of 24 percent. Most of the spike has come since mid-November, when 14 homicides reported over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend prompted police and city officials to begin a series of initiatives aimed at increasing police presence in high-crime areas. Fifty-one homicides have been reported in November and December to date — a 70 percent increase from the same period last year. ..."It's an unfortunate fact that a majority of homicides occur in apartment complexes," said homicide Capt. Dale Brown. "Has it always been that way? The answer is probably no. But that's the case now, and it's something we have to deal with." Brown would not comment on what impact the influx of Katrina evacuees — many of whom swelled the populations of a number of low-income apartment complexes in September — have had on the homicide spike. He did suggest, however, that any sudden increase in population is typically accompanied by a rise in crime. "It creates stress out there, that you see the effects of in a lot of different ways. ... What we're seeing now is more localized in those areas that have been affected the most," he said. "You're bringing people with different cultures, different backgrounds, they have different lifestyles there in New Orleans than we have in Houston," Brown said. "The equilibrium was thrown out of whack."
Anyone have stats that suggest this is nothing more than a hopeful generalization? I don't think in most cases people get together and start killing each other unless you are talking gangs, drug dealers and criminals who are stepping on someone's turf.

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