A report from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) shows the rate of crime declined in 2003 following a rise in 2002.
“Report on Crime and Crime Control in the COG Region in 2002 and 2003,” released today to COG’s Board of Directors, shows the rate of violent crimes – which include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – decreased by 3.6 percent between 2002 and 2003. The number of property crimes, including burglary, larceny, and auto theft, decreased 5.8 percent in 2003 from a total of 157,961 the previous year.
The annual report is based on crime statistics collected from member agencies of COG’s Police Chiefs Committee. It provides a picture of criminal activity in the metropolitan Washington region that is used by local law enforcement agencies to assess trends.
“It is our hope that this report will spark dialogue on how to reduce crime in the metropolitan area,” said Thomas Manger, Montgomery County Police Chief and member of the Police Chiefs committee.
The report shows that homicides decreased by 6.8 percent to 436 incidents in 2003, after a sharp rise of nearly 17 percent to 463 in 2002. Nationally, homicides rose 1.7 percent in 2003. The number of cars stolen increased by 1.5 percent in 2003 following a 16 percent increase in 2002.
Although the use of different data collection systems currently makes it difficult to accurately compare criminal activity between jurisdictions, local law enforcement agencies are in the process of converting all police departments to one uniform system known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
“COG has taken the lead in analyzing the data for an annual report that has traditionally helped law enforcement agencies and policy officials assess trends and establish local crime-fighting strategies,” said COG Board Chair Judith F. Davis.
Click here to download the full report.