Crime statistics show that incidents of rape, theft and motor-vehicle thefts increased slightly in 1993 from 1992, while reports of homicide, robbery, assaults and burglary declined, the Harford County sheriff's office said recently.
Taken as a whole, incidents of serious crime dipped from 3,763 in 1992 to 3,743 in 1993.
"It's significant that we have had another [overall] decline
because the population continues to grow," said Deputy DeWayne Curry, spokesman for the sheriff's office.
In the two-year comparison, homicides dropped from 4 to 0; assaults went from 773 to 749; robberies fell from 45 to 35; and burglaries were down from 819 to 770.
The sheriff's office reported that rapes increased from 23 to 30; thefts rose from 1,950 to 1,983; and motor-vehicle thefts increased from 172 to 177.
These statistics reflect only those crimes in the seven categories that were reported to the Sheriff's Office. They do not include crimes handled by the state police or the municipal police of Bel Air, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace.
Deputy Curry cited various factors, including Neighborhood Watch, Security and Quality of Life surveys, and the Community Policing Program, that might have contributed to the decrease in crime during 1993.
These programs reach out to law-abiding residents, encouraging them to call the sheriff's office when they suspect criminal activity in their neighborhoods.
The sheriff's office has come under increased scrutiny in the last year as Eileen M. Rehrmann, the county executive, became openly critical of Sheriff Robert E. Comes.
The sheriff's office was informed recently that the Harford County Detention Center was re-accredited by the American Correctional Association. The award is a professional peer review that ensures that correctional facilities provide basic programs and services.
Warden Paul S. Hastmann accepted the three-year re-accreditation award Jan. 17 at the American Correctional Association's winter conference in Orlando, Fla.