Harford County’s crime rate hit a historic low for a second straight year according to law enforcement data, as reported incidents of the most serious types of crime fell slightly in 2010 after major decreases a year earlier.
Reported robberies, aggravated assaults, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts all decreased in 2010, according to statistics collected by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and provided by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. The number of murders, rapes, and instances of breaking and entering increased.
The numbers are based on the Maryland Uniform Crime Reports program, which separate incidents into two groups. The most serious crimes, known as Part I or “index” crimes, are further divided into “violent crimes” of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, and “property crimes” of breaking and entering, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft. Together with instances of less serious Part II crimes, the reports determine the county’s overall crime rate.
That overall rate fell 2.3 percent to 2,173.8 per 100,000 people from 2,223.9. The 2010 rate broke the previous year’s mark as the lowest ever reported since Maryland’s UCR program began in 1975.
The violent crime rate dropped for a third straight year, falling 4.4 percent last year to 346.3 per 100,000 people from 362.3. The property crime rate decreased for a second straight year, falling 1.8 percent to 1,827.5 per 100,000 people from 1,861.6—also breaking the 2009 mark as the lowest level reported since reporting began.
Countywide, the number of murders and rapes climbed slightly from the year before, with 6 murders reported compared to 4, and 63 rapes, up from 60 in 2009. Breaking and entering reports also increased, up 9.9 percent to 889 from 809.
All other index crimes fell in 2010, including motor vehicle thefts, which declined for a third straight year. After 467 reports of auto theft in 2007, only 236 such crimes were reported in 2010, a 49 percent decrease. The progress recently resulted in the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Auto Theft Unit, comprised of Det. Shawn Craig and Det. Norman Turner, winning the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Vehicle Theft Award of Merit.
Crimes across the state fell 5.1 percent last year, with 11,004 fewer crimes reported in 2010 than the year before, also a new low mark. Among all index crimes, only rapes increased from 2009, up 6.2 percent to 1,228 from 1,156.
Tables breaking down the types of crime across the 35 years recorded by the state UCR program are provided below. The charts detail, respectively, the total number of index crimes, crime rates per 100,000 broken down by violent and property time categories, and crime rates broken down by type of index crime. Below the charts, a detailed breakdown of statewide figures from the Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention follows.