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HOUSTON Crime rates in Houston have dropped dramatically throughout the city in the first half of 2011, according to HPD Chief Charles McClelland.

In fact, total crime is down 11 percent.

We did an outstanding job last year the men and women did an outstanding job of lowering crime. And we re seeing the same results the first six months of this year, McClelland said.

Violent crime has decreased 9.2 percent, compared to the same period a year ago.

Specifically, murders are down by 37.1 percent.

If we continue on that pace, murders will reach the lowest levels since 1965, McClelland said.

Robberies are also down by 20.8 percent.

The only violent crime to show an increase was rape, which was up 7.8 percent from the same period in 2010.

As for non-violent crimes, Houston saw a 12.4-percent drop in auto thefts, a 15.29-percent decrease in burglaries of motor vehicles and a 9.5-percent decrease in burglaries of residences.

I truly believe that Houston is the safest big city in America, thanks to the 5,300 men and women who are going out there every day and the citizens who have partnered with us and worked very, very hard to protect themselves and their property, McClelland said. So we re very, very proud of that.

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