THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (February 1, 2016) – Recently released year-end statistics show that crime in The Woodlands declined in 2015, according to The Woodlands Township's reports from its law enforcement agencies, but officials urge residents to stay aware in daily activities.
Assault declined by four percent, and sexual assault declined by 12 percent in 2015 as compared to 2014 in statistics recently released. Burglaries, criminal mischief, theft of motor vehicle, robbery and public intoxication all saw decreases in 2015, although burglary of motor vehicles experienced a 20 percent increase – from 282 in 2014 to 339 last year.
“Public safety is the number one concern for The Woodlands Township’s Board of Directors and staff,” said Township Chairman Dr. Ed Robb. “It is important for our residents and businesses to know their hometown is an exceedingly safe place to live and work,” he added. “Even so, we must all work together to make sure the community remains safe.”
Although reports regarding pathway safety have been in the media recently, in 2015 there were no sexual assaults on the pathways or in Township parks. “That is good news, but we must remain proactive,” Dr. Robb said. “And our Neighborhood Watch program is one of the best ways we can guard against criminals. We need our residents and businesses to be alert and always report suspicious activity.”
Under investigation right now is a reported incident in January 2016 of a female being sexually assaulted on a pathway near the Shadowbend and Gosling intersection. This report is under active investigation by law enforcement agencies. “We will not and cannot tolerate these types of activities,” Dr. Robb said.
“The Township works closely with the Sheriff’s Office and others to help keep crime down in The Woodlands, and to find those who commit crimes here,” Chairman Robb said. The Woodlands does not have its own police department, but contracts with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, District 6, and Harris County Constable’s Office, Precinct 4, to provide for the primary (enhanced patrol) policing services for The Woodlands. In addition, Township Parks and Recreation Rangers patrol the pathways throughout the day and night.
Monthly, all of these agencies provide calls for service/call titles data to the Township and are included in monthly Community Policing Reports. The data is important in giving the Township Board of Directors and community an overview of the types of calls responded to by law enforcement. In 2015, these law enforcement agencies combined responded to 72,513 calls for service/call titles.
“It is important to note that calls for service/call titles data does not reflect actual crime statistics,” according to Marian Leck, director of law enforcement for The Woodlands Township. “Essentially, the calls do represent activity and/or calls for service as dispatched that may or may not result in a crime (statistic).”
In addition to the calls for service/call titles data provided monthly, both agencies work hand in hand with The Woodlands Township Neighborhood Watch to share firsthand criminal activity with the community.
In January 2016, a press release was distributed by the Montgomery County Constable’s Office, Precinct 3. Their office provides an investigator for major crimes against children. The press release was shared through the Township’s Neighborhood Watch Blog. Additionally, the information, along with assault calls for service/call titles data was also shared through newspaper articles and social media. Without background information on the assault calls for service/call titles data, many perceived the data to be actual crime data that took place on bike paths or parks.
Information received from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reveals a more accurate picture of assault and sexual assault data.
- Assault (calls for service/call title)
- Assault 2015
- Of those 109 calls for service/call title for assault:
- 73 generated a case number and/or proceeded through the system.
- Assault 2015 on bike paths or parks
- 2 assaults on bike path
- 4 assaults in parks (1 family violence and 3 juvenile altercations)
- Sexual Assault (calls for service/call title)
- Sexual Assault 2015
- 30 reports generated a case number or proceeded through the system. A significant number of these cases were walk-in reports at two local hospitals within District 6 response area, and they may or may not have occurred inside The Woodlands.
- Other sexual assaults were reported to have occurred at residential addresses within The Woodlands.
- Sexual Assault 2015 on bike paths or parks
To promote a safe environment for pathway users, The Woodlands Parks and Recreation Department recommends following safety precautions when utilizing the pathways.
Pathway Safety Tips:
Do not talk on your phone while walking, jogging or bicycling.Do not wear headphones for music/phone.
- Walk, jog or bike with a friend, preferably during daylight hours.
- Take your cellphone with you, and dial 9-1-1 if you feel you are in danger.
- Call immediately; do not wait until you have finished your walk. The sooner you can advise law enforcement the better chance they have to address the matter.
- It is very important that you are aware of the names of the cross-streets and/or intersection closest to your location. This will help law enforcement understand your location.
- Once you have alerted law enforcement of your concern/suspicion, go to the closest location where other people are present and stay in an open/visible area. You can also ask the communications/dispatch personnel to stay on the line with you.
- If you decide to wear headphones, leave the volume on low so that you aware of sounds around you.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Use a mobile application that can track your location and inform family members of the route you will be taking.
- Research a mobile app that will work best for you; there are many on the market that will track your location and give you the option to alert chosen contacts of your location.
Please also consider joining The Woodlands Township Neighborhood Watch. Residents are important to the community policing effort, and most importantly, they are the first line of defense to take away the opportunity for crime to occur in many instances. Please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed to sign up for Township blogs, newsletters and more, or call 281-210-3800.