AUSTIN -- The numbers are in. The City of Austin has become the third safest "big city" compared to U.S. cities of a similar size. It moved up two spots from number five, according to the Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.
In a news conference Tuesday, Acevedo told reporters that all types of crime decreased in 2011. That includes murder, rape, car theft, robbery, aggravated assaults and property crimes.
The chief says one statistic he's seen trending so far in 2012 is truly troublesome. Crime in downtown Austin has risen 16 percent this year.
"This is unacceptable," said Chief Acevedo. "People have the right to live downtown and feel safe."
Acevedo blames the growth of the Entertainment District, population and an increased number of liquor licenses in a condensed area where bars are over-serving people.
"It seems every time I look there's a new bar downtown," said Acevedo.
The department will continue to flood the downtown area with police presence. Officers will monitor the downtown cameras through the Real-Time Crime Center. The zero-tolerance policy on the no-sit, no-lie ordinance will remain in effect through December.