Reported crime down 7 percent, Anne Arundel Co. police say

The number of reported crimes in 2009 in Anne Arundel County declined by 7 percent – or 4,551 incidents – from the previous year, county police said Thursday.

Part I, or the more serious, crimes, which include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, thefts including motor vehicle theft, and arson, decreased 8 percent, from 20,352 in 2008 to 18,714 in 2009. Part II crimes, such as drug offenses, gambling, prostitution and weapons offenses, decreased from 43,410 in 2008 to 40,497 in 2009 for a 7 percent decrease.

Department spokesman Justin Mulcahy said the drop could be attributed to improved department strategies and involvement of county residents. He said programs such as the "Cops on Dots," which involves identifying crime trends with aggressive follow-up, and the CompStat program, which allows the department to exchange "real-time info" to quickly direct police resources more efficiently, have helped spur the drop.

While the overall numbers of crime have been declining over the last three years, Mulcahy said "there's always more work to be done."

In 2009, reported rapes were down by 14 percent, automobile thefts by 25 percent and arsons 20 by percent, police said. Robberies were reduced by 2 percent, burglaries by 8 percent and thefts by 8 percent. There were 12 homicides last year, and the department had a 91 percent clearance rate.

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