County crime rose 4%, but violence dropped

February 13, 1994|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Sun Staff Writer

Overall crime in Anne Arundel County increased by 4.1 percent in 1993, although violent crime fell slightly, police statistics show.

A total of 53,137 crimes were committed as of the end of December, up from 51,050 at the end of 1992, according to statistics released last week by the county police.

But the more serious "Part I Crimes" decreased by 1.2 percent. Part I crimes are divided into violent and property categories, and include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, breaking and entering, theft, automobile larceny and arson.

"Overall crime is down in a lot of areas," said Faye Scheibe, public information officer for the Anne Arundel County Police Department. "The reasons for that are our programs in high-risk areas that are geared to community-oriented and problem-oriented policing."

As an example, Ms. Scheibe said that in a case of domestic

violence, officers might, on a second call, put a couple in touch with agencies that could provide counseling -- and perhaps prevent a third such call.

Homicide showed the largest percentage increase in Part I crimes, jumping 70 percent. Anne Arundel County had 17 homicides in 1993, compared with 10 in 1992.

Aggravated assaults also increased dramatically, climbing from 861 incidents in 1992 to 1,006 incidents in 1993, a 16.8 percent rise.

Rapes rose 11.1 percent, but robberies were down 2.6 percent. Theft, breaking and entering, automobile larceny and arson also decreased.

"People have become more committed to their personal security," Ms. Scheibe said, adding that "consumers are buying things to prevent car theft," as well as purchasing more home alarms and establishing neighborhood watch programs.

Part II crimes encompass 16 categories, including simple assault, narcotics, weapons offenses, sex offenses and gambling.

Gambling showed the biggest increase of all Part II crimes, up 172.7 percent from 1992. County police reported 30 incidents of gambling in 1993, compared with 11 incidents in 1992.

Crimes involving narcotics climbed 25.8 percent, from 1,610 to 2,025.

"In the last couple of years, we've beefed up our in-service training to teach officers drug interdiction laws," Ms. Scheibe said.

One result, she said, has been more arrests for drug possession. Arrests of adults for possession of narcotics increased by 27.8 percent from 1992 to 1993. Drug arrests for juveniles for the same offense rose by a staggering 121.2 percent.

"We have put in tactical narcotics teams and are seeing a lot more possession arrests," said Ms. Scheibe.

Sex offenses increased by 21.6 percent, while simple assaults ,, rose 7.3 percent. Bomb threats, which fell from 40 in 1992 to 31 in 1993, showed the biggest decrease in Part II crimes, down 22.5 percent.

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