Crime decrease in southwest area mirrors that in Baltimore County

Crime in Baltimore County was down in 2012, compared with both 2011 and the five-year average from 2007 to 2011, according to statistics released by the Baltimore County Police Department May 1.

In the Catonsville and Arbutus areas covered by the Wilkens Police Station, crime was down in 12 of 13 categories, according to the county statistics.

"That would be indicative of people behaving themselves," said Capt. Douglas Irwin, in his first year of command at the Wilkens Station.

"The citizens in Wilkens deserve just as much credit as the Police Department would for being intolerant of crime," Irwin said.

"That shows that there is a cooperative element," he said.

Irwin said that the police could not function as well as it does without the help of the area's residents.

"I would just simply say that I'm very, very proud of how the community and the police work together," Irwin said.

"And I think that that drop that you're looking at, certainly the community bears as much willingness to help and they get as much credit as the Police Department," he said.

The only category that did not see any change was rape, with 16 rapes reported over the five-year average and 16 being the number of rapes reported in 2012.

However, auto theft in the precinct fell from an annual average of 356 in 2007-2011 to 194 in 2012, according to the Baltimore County Index Crimes by Precinct chart released by the police.

Irwin said a large part of that decrease should be credited to the Regional Auto Theft Task Force, a partnership between detectives in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

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