Harford County posted the second best crime rate in the state according to statistics released last week by the Sheriff’s Office, which show all key types of both violent crimes and property crimes falling 14 percent last year.
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 rate was 1,858.8 per 100,000 people in 2011, down 14 percent from 2,173.8 the year before. Robberies and aggravated assaults fell 24.5 percent and 23.3 percent respectively, while incidents of rape fell 38.1 percent and murders fell 16.7 percent from 2010. Breaking and entering, larceny, and motor vehicle theft incidents all decreased, down 12.4, 12.2, and 12.3 percent respectively.
Harford’s crime rate of 1,858.8 per 100,000 population was well below the statewide crime rate of 3,354.6. Among all Maryland counties, Harford ranked second, behind only Carroll County. Baltimore City again finished last, while Baltimore County ranked 16th and Cecil County ranked 20th.
The county saw five murders last year, one fewer than in 2010, and reports of rape decreased to 39 from 63 in 2010. Robberies fell for a fourth straight year, to 148 from 196 a year earlier, while aggravated assaults fell to 451 from 588.
Among property crimes, reports of breaking and entering last year dropped to 779 from 889 in 2010; incidents of larceny-theft were down to 2,965 from 3,377 a year earlier; and motor vehicle thefts fell for a fourth straight year to 207 from 236.