FORT WORTH -- While reports of crimes against people rose 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2011, overall crime was down 3.3 percent in Fort Worth, according to statistics released late Tuesday.
According to the first-quarter statistics:
Rises in forcible sex offenses (31.9 percent), kidnappings (31.8 percent), aggravated assaults (7.1 percent) and kidnappings (31.8 percent) spurred the overall increase in crimes against people. In sharp contrast, murders and non-negligent manslaughters were down 41.7 percent.
The city recorded notable drops in robbery (23.8 percent), counterfeiting/forgery (17.6 percent) and burglary (4.1 percent), contributing to an overall 4.9 percent decrease in property crimes.
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Of the 80 reported rapes in the first quarter, 63 percent involved a known offender.
Fifty-nine percent of the 29 kidnappings reported in the first quarter were domestic or involved a known suspect. All victims were recovered.
While business burglaries dropped 36.9 percent, home burglaries rose 7.2 percent. Contributing to the increase was a trend of copper thefts from vacant homes that was reduced after several arrests by the north and south divisions.
Gang-related incidents dropped 34 percent.
The statistics were a change from the quarterly statistics usually given to the council. The department has recently completed its conversion to the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
The system, which the city became certified to use in 2006, is touted as providing more in-depth crime statistics than the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, still used by the FBI in calculating national and state crime statistics.
Lt. Paul Henderson, a police spokesman, said NIBRS lets the department give a more accurate picture of the city's crimeand provides better analysis for predicting trends and implementing strategies.
He said that while UCR counted only criminal incidents, NIBRS counts each victim involved in that crime separately. That means a home invasion involving five victims will count as five aggravated robberies.
"We think it's important we look at each victim in the determination of how we are going to respond in the future to these types of crimes," Henderson said.
Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655