Crimes against persons and property—or total Part I offenses—declined for the fourth consecutive year in metropolitan Washington, according to the Annual Report on Crime and Crime Control. The report was released today by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), and is based on crime incidents reported by law enforcement agencies from across the region for 2016.
According to the report, there were 3,600 fewer criminal offenses in the region in 2016 than in 2015. This 3.1 percent decrease can be largely attributed to a decline in property crimes—specifically burglary and larceny.
“From the rising opioid epidemic to the threat of terrorist attacks, law enforcement in our region are faced with some particularly challenging issues,” said Ron Pavlik, COG Police Chiefs Committee Chairman and Metro Transit Police Chief. “The findings of this annual report speak to the top-notch efforts of the area’s nearly 19,000 law enforcement personnel in making metropolitan Washington a safer place to live and work.”
The report also noted increases in several violent offense categories in 2016. Homicides increased by 2.6 percent; jurisdictions report that domestic violence, gangs, and drug activity continue to be common factors in recent incidents of homicide. Reported rapes and robberies also increased (5.4 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively).
Despite these increases, overall crime has dropped by 26.4 percent in metropolitan Washington over the last ten years. Overall violent crime—or those crimes against persons—has declined by 30.5 percent over the last ten years. Also notable is the reduction in robberies over time, down 39.4 percent since 2007.
In addition, the report highlights regional law enforcement priorities—including enhancing officer training and education, building trust between officers and the communities they serve, and understanding, addressing, and preventing crime through innovative technologies and information sharing.
MORE: Annual Report on Crime and Crime Control