News Release

Crime Rate Continues Downward Trend in Metropolitan Washington

Jul 10, 2013

Washington, D.C. – The crime rate in metropolitan Washington is continuing to decrease according to the 2012 Annual Report on Crime & Crime Control released today at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors meeting.

Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook, D.C. Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Patrick Burke, and Metro Transit Police Strategic Executive Officer Amy Philips presented the report to the COG Board and noted that the crime rate has dropped from 25.01 crimes per 1,000 persons in 2011 to 23.65 crimes per 1,000 persons in 2012. In 2008, there were 32.18 crimes per 1,000 persons.

Between 2011-2012, homicide (-17.67%), motor vehicle theft (-12.6%) and burglary (-6.1%) accounted for the largest decreases in the region. Officials noted that forcible rape (14.62%), aggravated assault (13.87%) and larceny (4.5%) saw increases over that same time range. Because Charles County’s numbers were included with the regional numbers for the first time, the report showed an increase in total crimes from 2011 to 2012.

The report notes “in a region where crime occurs irrespective of boundaries and is increasingly multi-jurisdictional, a major factor in the reduction of crime has been the cooperation between law enforcement agencies.” It goes on to highlight several initiatives to reduce crime such as:

  • Law enforcement officers in Prince George’s County, Maryland introduced a program called “Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI)” to help improve the quality of life in vulnerable communities. The Prince George’s County Police Department collaborates with more than 17 other county departments to be proactive in these targeted areas.
  • The Traffic Accident Reduction Program (TARP) was instituted by Arlington County Police to meet traffic and vehicle safety concerns. To address drunk driving specifically, the police partnered with Red Top Cab and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, a coalition that fights drunk driving through programs like SoberRide®
  • The Alexandria Police Department is working with United States Secret Service Metro Area Fraud Task Force to more efficiently combat the crimes of identity theft and social engineering that is accomplished online.
  • Theft of cellular devices, particularly cell phones, has become a cross-jurisdictional concern and is a widespread problem throughout the United States. In the District of Columbia, leaders worked with cell phone providers and the FCC to establish a website, www.brickit.dc.gov, to combat theft and the secondary resale market of cell phones by giving tools to victims to render a stolen smart phone inoperable.

To view/download the report, click here.

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