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Baltimore crime: Juvenile arrests are down, compared with last year

Baltimore police have made significantly fewer juvenile arrests compared with this time last year, the latest city crime statistics show.

There were 209 juvenile arrests through the week ending April 7, down 56 percent from the 472 arrests at the same point last year.

The declines were evident across major crime categories, including robbery (down 67 percent), aggravated assault (down 71 percent), burglary (down 82 percent), larceny (57 percent), auto theft (27 percent). Arrests for drug abuse violations were down 21 percent.

There were also fewer juvenile arrests for fraud, vandalism and possessing or carrying weapons. There were no categories in which juvenile arrests increased.

Arrests of suspects of all ages are down 11 percent in the city.

There were several high-profile assaults and robberies in 2017 that police believe were committed by juveniles. They included the assault of a woman on Halloween night in South Baltimore and an assault of a family of tourists at the Inner Harbor.

“The situation with these juveniles is out of control,” City Councilman Eric T. Costello said in November.

City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke called juvenile crime “the major issue of the day.”

Baltimore police did not respond to a request for comment on the decline in juvenile arrests.

There have been similar declines in city intake complaints to the Department of Juvenile Services. Those are down 17 percent compared to last year, preliminary data shows.

Intake complaints can involve multiple charges stemming from a single incident. Some juveniles have multiple complaints filed against them from different incidents. The complaints can be made by Baltimore police, the schools police or citizens.

While there have been fewer such complaints, Department of Juvenile Services spokesman Jay Cleary said, the youth who are being charged are being charged with more offenses, “and those offenses appear to be more serious.”

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