Overall crime in D.C. metro area on the decline, says new report

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsChannel 8) — The latest crime report released by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments shows some positive news for the D.C. metro area.

Latest statistics show a decrease in overall crime. Also, the crime per capita has declined even as the population increases.

In 2013, overall “Part I” crimes, which include homicides, burglaries, and assaults dropped 2.6 percent from 2012.

Individually, there was an increase in the number of homicides, rapes and assaults.

In 2013, there were 198 homicides, 986 rapes and 8,206 aggravated assaults compared to 191 homicides, 831 rapes, and 7,914 aggravated assaults in 2012.

Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg explained these statistics at the COG’s recent meeting. He said that the homicide numbers spiked because of the Navy Yard shootings that left 12 dead.

Also, he said a new definition of rape pushed up those statistics for 2013.

Overall, Goldberg says success can be seen.

“The trend since 2009 has been in the right direction. I think part of that has been the cooperation between the police departments. Part of that is because of the communications issues that we have, newer software and crime fighting tactics, and we have, I think, a better relationship with the community,” said Goldberg.

The report states that the overall decrease in crime was driven by a large reduction in motor vehicle thefts and small drops in burglaries and larcenies.

Goldberg said he is concerned about the number of carjackings that have been happening because he says it’s harder to steal cars because of new car technology. He said many criminals are using weapons to steal vehicles.

Another focus will be cracking down on the growing trend of heroin in the region.

To read the full report, you can find that online.