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Crime Trending Downward in First Half of 2012

Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson reports statistics for the first half of 2012 show crime trending downward in Baltimore County.

by Police Chief James Johnson

Statistics for the first half of 2012 show crime in each of the County’s 10 precincts trending downward.

Data provided by our Crime Analysis Unit show that Part I crimes – the most serious crimes – decreased by 8.6 percent during the first six months of this year compared to the previous five-year average for the same time period. Total crime – Part I and Part II – declined by 5.4 percent from the previous five-year average.

Before we get into the details, a word about how we look at crime statistics in Baltimore County: In 2011, we began comparing current crime data against the previous five-year average rather than against the previous year. In any given year, a host of factors – weather is one of the most significant – may cause crime to spike up or down. Such short-term comparisons often do not provide a true picture of local crime. I believe we should focus on trends, on whether crime is rising or falling over the longer term.

In the first six months of 2012, Part I violent crime decreased by 348 cases from the previous five-year average for the same period. There were 1,942 violent crimes in the first six months of the year, down from the previous five-year average of 2,290.

Part I property crime decreased by 898 cases; there were 11,268 Part I property crimes from January through June, compared to 12,166 for the previous five-year average. That is a 7.4 percent decrease from the previous five-year average.

Rape, which increased by nine cases, from 71 to 80, is the only category of Part I violent crime that exceeded the previous five-year average during the first six months of the year. The other types of violent crime all dropped:

  •     Homicide decreased by five cases, from 15 to 10
  •     Robbery decreased by 88 cases, from 726 to 638
  •     Aggravated assault decreased by 264 cases, from 1,478 to 1,214

All categories of Part I property crime compared favorably to the previous five-year average:

  • Burglary decreased by 70 cases, from 2,033 to 1,963.
  • Theft decreased by 356 cases, from 8,823 to 8,467.
  • Motor vehicle theft decreased by 446 cases, from 1,172 to 726.  
  • Arson decreased by 26 cases, from 138 to 112.

Total Part I crime – violent crime and property crime – for the first six months of 2012 decreased by 1,246 cases, from 14,456 to 13,210, when compared to the previous five-year average.

Part II crime also declined during the first half of the year. Part II crime includes simple assaults, sex offenses, drug violations, vandalism and many other crimes. During the first half of 2012, Part II crime declined by 509 cases, from 17,862 to 17,353.

In addition, our clearance rates for Part I crime continue to exceed the national average as determined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System. This means we are solving crimes and getting criminals off the street.

I am always cautiously optimistic when providing positive crime news such as this.

Optimistic, because we know we truly are making Baltimore County safer when data over a five-year period shows declines in almost every category of crime. Cautious, because human nature cannot be controlled.

We have an extraordinary team of personnel committed to public safety. We are focused on crime prevention and reduction, using technology and partnerships to continue the great crime reductions we have experienced over the last several years.

As always, we will look closely at the next set of crime statistics to see if the downward trend holds. The never-ending work of determining the best strategies to keep Baltimore County safe continues.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Parkvillehoney November 23, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I have seen an increase in crime in the Parkville-Cub Hill area. On Nov 16th 4 black guys robbed and assaulted 3 people walking in front of Pine Grove Middle School at 7:30pm, as reported in this weeks Avenue Newspaper. This is the trash that is living in the apartments near this school. I have seen groups of young guys hanging at this apartment's corners in the evening. Are they selling drugs or mapping out their criminal activity?
Buzz Beeler November 23, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Arbutus Town Crier, thank you. I was in that system for 39 years. Twenty on the street and 19 on the administrative side. The people have no clue as to what goes on. I would like to see the stats for - calls for service. Those are telling because you can't stop the phone from ringing unless they don't answer it which also goes on. Crime is not PC and thus the games begin. Many calls are downgraded or NR'ed (no report) to change the stats. The city was good at that. Many people have lost faith in the department and won't call at all. It's all about leadership and Johnson got rid of everyone except the bobble heads. Besides Homan runs the department because Johnson won't stand up to him. The county just lost another big case to the FOP because of Homan. ATC you see the changes in the county with your own eyes. It's not hard to figure out.
Arbutus Town Crier November 23, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Parkvillehoney, Color has nothing to do with a persons actions! But know your neighbors, age group! Loitering defined is: waste time or dawdle over work! Well it’s not work, some old sayings are true! Idle hand cause mischief, or maybe they are working in a field that is unknown tax exempt self profit you don't know…. call 911.. and do not be anonymous to Blue! Any suspicious activity. Contact the apartment complex management, and what are there rules even retain a copy ? You should have no problem working with them they are part of the neighborhood and their best interest for their business. Just use common sense and work with the blue and they will work with you., Remember your neighbors and there is safety in numbers when working with Blue, stay calm cool and don't settle for answers be well inform with this site http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/ and http://www.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx I can only suggest take no action yourself except be well informed of the issues. I would refrain from using a description as you did in your comments if you are asked by Blue for descriptions give it to them but here discuss a person actions and the issue. Let them do there job! Not satisfied go to the link and be informed first time shame on them 2nd time shame on you. You found your way here on Patch you can find what you’re looking for on those sites. I do not advocate any action but being informed.
Buzz Beeler November 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Easy for you to say while you get fat eating turkey. Not so easy for the victims of crime that can't get a response from the police. Blessed when your accused of being a pedophile, leader of a hate group, a retard just to name a few. Put your name out there brave one. Whiners! I call people who use their real name brave upstanding people. They don't hide under rocks. I challenge your mouth to put your real name out there and see how long it is before go home and cry to mommy and daddy. The cowards always have the loudest mouths.
john merkle November 25, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Homicide stats crack me up...it seems to imply that since there are 5 people less that died, that we've got credit on 5 potential dead people...or that somehow maybe 5 other dead peeps will now get up and resume living as they had ....before this exquiste little inconvience known as "death- by homicide"....'til 5 more get snuffed out...lol...

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