Governor Martin O'Malley today announced that total crime in Maryland is at its lowest level since 1975. According to 2010 year-end crime data compiled by the Maryland State Police and submitted to the FBI for use in the national crime statistics report, total crime in Maryland was down 5.1 percent -- its lowest level since modern crime tracking began in 1975. Additionally, violent crime decreased 6 percent and property crime was down 4.9 percent. Currently both the violent crime and property crime rates (per 100,000 people) are the lowest ever on record in Maryland. Since 2006, total crime in Maryland has decreased 12 percent and violent crime has decreased 17 percent.
Among violent crimes, homicides dropped 3.2 percent in 2010 with 14 fewer people murdered last year in Maryland than the year before. The data for 2010 also show reductions in robbery (-7.9%), aggravated assault (-5.6%), burglary (-0.6%), larceny/theft (-5.7%), and motor vehicle theft (-8.1%).
"The most important responsibilities we have in government are to create jobs and protect the public's safety," said Governor O'Malley. "Working together with state and local law enforcement, with our partners and neighbors in communities across Maryland, we have helped drive crime down to its lowest level in recorded history. As we continue to make our streets safer, we improve the quality of life for our residents and businesses."
Sixteen jurisdictions reported reductions in total crime, with three reporting double-digit reductions between 2009 and 2010. Seventeen jurisdictions noted specific reductions in violent crime (murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault), with eight reporting double-digit decreases. Fifteen jurisdictions noted specific reductions in property crime (breaking and entering, larceny/theft, and motor vehicle theft), with three jurisdictions reporting reductions of 10 percent or more.
The declines in crime come at a time when state and local law enforcement agencies are intensifying their use of technology and information sharing. As a result, more criminals are being taken off the streets of Maryland communities. License plate reader technology is now being used by law enforcement across the State and the goal is to network as many jurisdictions as possible to increase information sharing about stolen or suspicious vehicles. The law enforcement Dashboard allows police officers instant access to information from 100 different databases as they investigate crimes.
"The additional tools available to law enforcement and the sharing of pertinent information in partnership with our allied police departments helps us all to continue the trend in crime reduction," said Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. "As a result, the people of Maryland are safer in their homes and neighborhoods."
DNA hits resulted in the arrests of 290 murderers, rapists, robbers and burglars since 2007. Cross-border collaboration through the Violence Prevention Initiative allowed the Division of Parole and Probation to share live arrest data with the District of Columbia and Virginia. In 2010, Maryland received 2,434 electronic arrest hit notices from its partner probation agencies in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Law enforcement has also been able to reduce the number of guns in Maryland neighborhoods through multi-agency task forces designed to track down violent criminals and remove them and their weapons from the streets.