Changes in the number of crimes identified by Howard County police from the first nine months of 2006 when compared with the same period in 2005 were negligible, according to statistics released Friday by police.
Overall, criminal offenses dropped from 14,271 to 14,162, a decline of less than 1 percent. Violent crimes - homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults - rose by eight to 459, an increase of less than 2 percent. The five-year average is 411.
Property crimes decreased from 5,394 to 5,247, a drop of almost 3 percent, thanks to a decline in thefts.
Calls for police service rose from 88,406 to 93,113, but that is below the county's five-year average for the first nine months of the year.