Crime in Howard on the decline, police report says

November 12, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Crime on all fronts -- from robberies and aggravated assaults to burglaries and car thefts -- is continuing to decline sharply in Howard County, according to statistics released by Howard County police yesterday.

For the first nine months of the year, police reported 161 aggravated assaults, down from 233 during the same period last year, a drop of 30.9 percent.

Robberies dropped 17.8 percent, from 152 to 125; and burglaries declined 20.5 percent, from 1,126 to 895.

Police credited the drop to better enforcement and a variety of programs.

"It's good police work," said Sgt. Morris Carroll, department spokesman.

The county's statistics mirror a national trend of decreasing crimes that experts attribute to more criminals being given longer sentences, a strong economy and better police tactics.

Carroll said police were working more closely with schools and preventing fights -- aggravated assaults -- before they start or spread into the community. Carroll attributed the steep drop in robberies, which declined 38 percent since 1996, to targeted enforcement and a robbery-prevention program funded by a federal grant.

That $121,388 grant has put more officers on the street, provided funding for better computer analysis and more training, Carroll said.

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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