Numbers Vary, But Agree On One Thing: Violent Crime Is Up

February 02, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff writer

Violent crime in Anne Arundel County has risen, but by just how muchis hard to say.

Figures provided by county police show violent crimes -- murder, rape, robbery and aggravaated assault -- rose 26.9 percent in 1991, compared to 1990.

But state police figures cut that figure by more than half, to 13.3 percent.

"It all depends on how you want to report it," state police spokeswoman Denise Kable said.l "It's the play with the numbers. And we have more agencies contributing to our totals."

Crime statistics compiled by the state include figures from county police, Annapolis, two state police barracks, state police at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the Sheriff's Department and the Departmentof General Services, which handles security in state buildings, Kable said.

Annapolis police figures show violent crimes there down 0.55 percent, mostly because of a drop in homicides from five in 1990 to one last year.

Officer Dermott Hickey, spokesman for the city police, said a reorganization of the department and the start-up of community programs and neighborhood patrols kept the rate lower than it could have been.

County police attribute their rise in violent crime to a 45.5 percent increase in robberies: 473 in 1991, compared with 325 in 1990. Hard economic times and drug problems contributed to the jump, county police spokesman Officer V. Richard Molloy said.

"This year, the fad was to rob people at automatic teller machines," Molloy said. "ATMs are easy targets because people are out theire alone and the chances of getting caught are lower."

State police figures show a 14 percent rise in robberies in the county: 19,755 last year, compared with 17,393 during 1990.

But reportd rapes and murdersin the county were down. County police handled 108 rapes in 1990, 96last year.

State police figures for the entire county show 126 rapes last year, 131 in 1990. Annapolis police handled 25 rape cases last year, compared with 17 the year before.

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