Is Fort Worth’s West 7th district a hotbed of crime? Here’s what the police say

Fort Worth’s West 7th district is not the hotbed of crime many perceive it to be, according recently released police statistics.

The area had fewer aggravated assaults than the Stockyards, Downtown, and Near Southside in between March 2023 and March 2024. Violent crimes and crimes like theft were also down more than 15% in 2023 compared to 2022.

Fort Worth police attributed the drop to an increase in proactive policing including making more traffic stops, which led to 115 illegal guns being seized in 2023 compared to 40 in 2022.

One of these stops involved a man who was standing outside a bar with a jaguar on a leash, offering pictures to people.

“This just shows if it can happen, it can happen in West 7th,” said Deputy Police Chief Robert Alldredge, speaking at a City Council work session Tuesday.

While there were fewer crimes in West 7th, the popular entertainment district is much smaller than places such as the Near Southside, said council member Elizabeth Beck, whose district includes West 7th.

The district — bounded by West Seventh Street to the north, University Drive to the west, Lancaster Avenue to the south, and the Fort Worth and Western Railroad tracks to the east — covers about 86 acres compared to nearly 780 for the Near Southside.

Beck pointed to the city’s effort to make changes to ordinances, and the extra staff hours spent to set up a special taxing district that will fund further improvements.

“I often get people going, Why aren’t you do enough in West 7th? And I think what this shows is we are doing a tremendous amount,” she said.

The City Council approved a $315,000 contract in January to set up an ambassador program similar to downtown. Alldredge told the council the program is on hold until the city sets up the special taxing district, but Beck and Mayor Mattie Parker pushed for the program to be started right away.

Fort Worth also plans to spend $140,000 on metal bollards to control traffic leaving the bars at the end of the night. Right now, Fort Worth police squad cars to block off the area, which takes away from officers being able to do foot patrols, Alldredge said.

Police are trying to keep crowds from forming as the bars let out, because that where most of the problems happen, he said.