Experts Are Calling This Texas Town A "Powder Keg" Caused By COVID-19 [Video]
Houston Texas is in serious trouble. Reports show that violent crimes are on the rise thanks to the pandemic. Experts are saying that Houston is in the eye of a 'perfect storm' with unemployment reaching new highs and lockdown measures agitating high tension situations. Local police are saying the current surge in violent crimes is 'unprecedented' and warn residence to stay safe.
Crime victims' advocate Andy Kahan warned that Houston has only just begun to see an increase. He says that things are only going to get worse as lockdown measures continue. "Murder has just skyrocketed," said Kahan. "I haven't seen levels like this in quite a while. And I think this is just the tip of the iceberg."
HPD records show aggravated assaults are up 9% since mid-March and domestic violence is up 1.3%.
“People are cooped up, they’ve lost their jobs, there’s no income coming in, a lot of pressures,” said Acevedo.
The domestic violence numbers will likely change after assault cases are more thoroughly reviewed, Acevedo said. The chief says historically 38% of assault cases are tied to domestic violence and since the pandemic started, he said it’s about 50%. “So it’s about a 12% increase in terms of the number of assaults that have a nexus to domestic violence,” said Acevedo.
The Houston Area Women’s Center is also reporting a large spike in the number of calls to their hotline. “We are seeing a 40% spike in our hotline for calls for domestic violence,” said HAWC President and CEO, Emilee Whitehurst.
“Are you also seeing an increase in calls for shelter as well?” asked KPRC 2′s Robert Arnold. “Yes,” said Whitehurst. “More people are asking for shelter which tells us people are living in situations that are intolerable.”
Just Wednesday that number grew with a triple homicide involving a pregnant woman that ended in suicide. See the report below for details:
Over the last few months many people have grown concerned about the potentially countless domestic and child abuse cases that could be going unreported because of the victim's proximity to their abuser. That's a very real probability nationwide. This means these numbers could jump once lockdown measures are lifted and victims come forward.