The incidence of violent and property crimes in the region decreased by four percent between 2005 and 2006, according to a report released today by the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).
The Report on Crime and Crime Control for 2006, said there was a region-wide decrease in Part I crimes – which include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle thefts. The report also cited cooperation within law enforcement agencies across the region.
“The region now compares favorably to the national crime rate because of a dramatic decrease in Part I crimes in Prince George’s County,” said Chief J. Thomas Manger, chairman of the COG Police Chiefs Committee and chief of the Montgomery County Department of Police. Chief Manger attributed the overall decline in the region’s crime rate to inter-agency cooperation and data sharing among area police departments.
A decline in the number of homicides and motor vehicle thefts contributed to the significant decrease in crime across the region. Of the seven types of crimes counted, five decreased by between 14.7 and 2.6 percent. These crimes are:
- Motor vehicle thefts: -14.7%
- Homicide: -11.8%
- Rape: -7.3%
- Robbery: -5.1%
- Larceny: -2.6%
Based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates, crime in the region is below the national crime rate. National violent crime rates increased by 1.4 percent and property crimes decreased by 2.9 percent. In the COG region, however, violent crime and property crime decreased by 1.4 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.
Although crime has decreased, Chief Manger said a certain type of robbery is a growing problem across the region. He said group robberies – involving four or more suspects preying on a lone victim – are on the rise.
“Many of these crimes happen at night when there is opportunity to attack victims walking by themselves on the street,” said Chief Manger.
The annual report is based on statistics collected from law enforcement agencies and COG member governments. The 2006 Report on Crime and Crime Control is available for download.