State officials today announced that 2012 year-end crime data compiled by the Maryland State Police and submitted to the FBI for use in the national crime statistics report shows that violent crime, homicides and property crime in Maryland have been driven down to the lowest rates since 1975. Total crime has been driven down 2.9% since 2011, with 5,701 fewer crimes reported. This marks the lowest number of total crimes and total crime rate ever reported in Maryland since the Uniform Crime Reporting program was adopted in 1975.
"Our most solemn obligation is to protect the public's safety," said Governor O'Malley. "We've lost too many moms and dads, sons and daughters this year, so we know there's still more work to do. But we should honor the hard work, commitment, and dedication of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials--and community and neighborhood leaders across the State--that drove down crime last year to its lowest levels in recorded history."
In 2012, together with the hardworking members of Maryland's law enforcement, the State drove down the number of homicides by 6.5 percent; robberies by 1.6 percent; aggravated assaults by 3.4 percent; incidents of breaking and entering by 6.4 percent; larceny/theft by 1.0 percent; and motor vehicle thefts by 9.8 percent. Rapes increased slightly by 3.3 percent. Eighteen jurisdictions drove down total crime while 14 jurisdictions drove down specific violent crime categories such as homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Eighteen jurisdictions drove down property crimes such as breaking and entering, larceny/theft, and motor vehicle theft.
"Coordination among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies is making a difference in Maryland," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "Sending armed felons and violent repeat offenders to prison reduces crime rates and increases public confidence."
"The numbers remain historically low because of the efforts of many who are committed to the fight against violent crime," said Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. "Thanks to law enforcement and community partnerships, together we are making an impact on the lives of our citizens through purposed policing. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to the mission of public safety in our state."
The O'Malley-Brown Administration has set strategic goals to reduce crime in Maryland. From 2006 to 2012, Maryland drove down violent crime 26.3 percent -- exceeding the Administration's goal to drive down violent crime by 20 percent by end of 2012. The administration has set another goal to drive violent crime down by another 20 percent by the end of 2018. The Administration also set a goal to reduce crimes against women and children by 25 percent by 2012. From 2006 to 2012, Maryland has driven down juvenile homicides 54 percent and homicides against women 17.1 percent. Law enforcement officers and public safety professionals throughout Maryland continue to work together to achieve this goal.
One of the most significant steps of the past year has been the expansion of the Safe Streets program. Safe Streets is an offender-based model that institutes collaboration and information sharing across all levels of government to dramatically reduce crime. The objective of Safe Streets is significant violent crime reduction through seamless coordination, consistent interagency collaboration, and information sharing by focusing on the core group of offenders who commit the majority of violent offenses in a local jurisdiction.
Safe Streets has been bolstered by other state-wide initiatives: advances in technology; more effective warrant service, continued focus on violent repeat offenders; and improved supervision of offenders on probation and parole through the Violence Prevention Initiative. Maryland's inter-state partnerships with public safety counterparts in the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York continue to prove effective in tracking and monitoring violent offenders who move across jurisdictional boundaries. Other tools such as License Plate Readers, automated pawnshop reporting, and the state's Criminal Justice Dashboard have been instrumental in supporting efforts to fight crime.
These better choices are leading to better results. Together, in partnership with our courageous law enforcement officers and community leaders, we can continue to drive down violent crime and improve public safety.