Maryland governor announces new crime statistics for 2011

Today Martin O’Malley’s office released Maryland’s crime statistics for 2011. The numbers show a strong decline in most categories. However, while the number of rape offenses went down, this category did not fall as much as other crimes.

Nearly 1,200 rapes occurred in Maryland last year which is the lowest rate since 2009 but still only 2.6 percent lower than the rate in 2010. This is a little surprising given the dramatic falls in other categories of crimes.

For example, the homicide rate dropped 4.8 percent to 398 total incidents. This is the lowest number of homicides since 1985 and the lowest per capita rate ever reported for Maryland. Violent crimes, as an even broader category, dropped even farther. Around 29,000 violent crimes occurred in the state–the lowest reported number of incidents since 1977 and once again the lowest recorded rate ever.

The governor’s office said that collaboration between state and federal efforts was a major driver behind the improvements. Another law enforcement figure, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, said that a focus on incarcerating persons convicted of armed felonies also played a big role. This is an interesting expression of an aggressive prosecution strategy, especially at a time when many observers are increasingly questioning whether incarceration-focused justice systems are effective in the long run.

The Uniform Crime Reporting program requires states to file statistics with the FBI every year. The program began in 1930.

Source: Baltimore Sun, “Crime in Maryland reported at historic lows,” Michael Dresser, Aug. 29, 2012