Texas State Fair Criminal Stats
Oct. 13, 2015
The Texas State Fair is a tradition that spans well over 100 years and the festivities attract visitors from all over the great state. Held in the historic Fair Park, the Texas State Fair is a great place to enjoy southern comforts, family fun and a taste of the Wild West. However, the fair isn't without its problems.
Every year, law enforcement officers in Dallas prepare for a rise in crime and DWIs during the fair. Why does this increase in arrests happen every year? In order to get an answer to this question, you have to look at the big picture.
Data published on AOL's Daily Finance named the 25 most violent neighborhoods in America. Two neighborhoods in Dallas made the cut, both of which are located directly south of Fair Park. Specifically, zip codes 75210 and 75215. If you live in either zip code for a full year, you will have a 1 in 8 chance of being a victim of violent crime.
In the last 100 years, Fair Park has seen a lot of changes. It was considered a railroad hub during the early to mid-1900s and was eventually expanded for the Texas Centennial celebration.
In recent years, a large amount of public works projects have systematically disconnected Fair Park and the surrounding neighborhoods from the rest of Dallas. This has resulted in a lack of residential and commercial activity in the area, a common link found in hot-spots for crime.
Bill Hillier is a professor at the University College London who invented Space Syntax, a mathematical model that is used to measure neighborhood street grids. His research has revealed a strong correlation between land that is isolated and disinvestment, along with a lack of opportunity. Hillier also found that highly interconnected street grids are linked to increases in land value.
When applying Hillier's mathematical model to Fair Park, the area scores extremely low, unsurprisingly. And this type of isolation is certainly a major contributing factor to the area's propensity for violent crime. Even though there are plans to link Fair Park with the greater Dallas area, there are still no concrete development plans in the works.
As things stand, most people only visit Fair Park for the Texas State Fair. There are currently two DART stations within a short distance, but the 47 acres of parking lots surrounding the park sit empty for most of the year. These parking lots not only waste space, they have to be maintained year around and create disconnection in the community, a driving force behind the high-crime rate.
To address this issue, many people have suggested tearing down the acres of asphalt and replacing it with residences and local businesses in order to try to create a thriving community. Unfortunately, the city owns this asset and officials have not made any plans to fix it, possibly unaware that it is leading to dangerous crimes, leaving residents feeling unsafe in their own neighborhood and vistors worrying about their safety attending the State Fair.
Driving While Intoxicated
Another issue that occurs every year at the fair is an increase in DWI arrests. Law enforcement officers will be on the look-out for impaired drivers so it is crucial to play it safe and drink responsibly when attending the fair. Unlike falling victim to a crime, DWIs are completely preventable.
The city has also taken measures to keep fair-goers safe with extra security. Even though the Texas State Fair has also used officers to patrol the grounds, they want to be extra careful this time year.
You should expect security guards at every entrance. They will be using hand-held metal detectors to check visitors for potentially dangerous objects and will also search any bags and coolers you bring with you. To make the process as quick as possible, officials encourage visitors to only bring necessities and leave everything else at home. While this may increase overall costs and wait-times, it is well-worth the extra efforts for your protection.
There have also been several surveillance cameras added around Fair Park and officers can watch the footage both on- and off-site. This kind of constant monitoring is expected to decrease the amount of crimes committed in the area.
Just remember, be vigilant and responsible while attending the Texas State Fair so you don't end up being included in one of these statistics. But if the worst happens and you find yourself in trouble, call Chad West Law for the best legal representation in Texas!