Data Shows Md. Crime Rates Decrease, County Rates Increase

Data Shows Md. Crime Rates Decrease, County Rates Increase

"You also have to take in account last year that the use of certain drugs, such as heroin, did go up. You have to look the unemployment rate too, and all those factors play into the crime rate that we see take place," said Deputy Carly Hose, Washington County Sheriff's Office.

MARYLAND (WHAG) - According to the 2013 Uniform Crime Report the number of crimes reported in the State of Maryland has decreased, but in Washington County and other counties in the four-state region, those numbers have increased.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office said they're not shocked.

"You also have to take in account last year that the use of certain drugs, such as heroin, did go up. You have to look the unemployment rate too, and all those factors play into the crime rate that we see take place," said Deputy Carly Hose, Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The Hagerstown Police Department said they're not worried. 

"We have really opened up the avenue for people to report crimes to us a lot easier than the past," said Cpt. Paul Kifer, Hagerstown Police Department. "Because of that it is going to increase our numbers, but that's not a bad thing, that is a good thing for us from a law enforcement standpoint because if we do not know the crime is occurring we can't do anything to try to combat the crime. So we actually are not concerned about the numbers being slightly higher."

In the region, the increase in total crimes from 2012 to 2013 are not drastic. Frederick County tops the list but Allegany County stands alone with decreasing numbers.

More than 4,000 fewer crimes were reported statewide, and the violent and property crimes are at their lowest since the 1970's.

With new data tools like DDACTS, Predpoll and Report A Crime, both departments said they're optimistic the 2014 statistics will change for the better.

"[On] a violent standpoint, we feel very good about the fact that we reduced our violent crime, our aggressive crime. Our crimes against persons have really seemed to dwindle off, a good bit for us here in the City of Hagerstown," said Cpt. Kifer.

"Our goal is to provide the best service to our community to make the community as safe as possible, so we are out there trying every avenue we can to keep that commitment to the community there," said Deputy Hose.

So far this year, the county reports that murders are at three and robberies at 12.

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