Crime falls in Montgomery County
Crime in Montgomery County fell nearly 7 percent in 2009, driven by a sharp drop in burglaries and car thefts, according to county statistics released Thursday.
The county recorded 13 homicides and 124 rapes, both of which were near 25-year-lows, and follow trends throughout the region.
"We’re doing a better job putting cops where they need to be," Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said.
Gang-related crime also dropped, reaching its lowest level in five years.
The statistics released Thursday covered only "Part I" crimes, which tend to be the more serious incidents that are tracked in crime-rate calculations. Less serious "Part II" crimes, such as vandalism and minor assaults, will be released later.
Murders fell 38.1 percent to 13 from 21 between 2008 and 2009; rapes fell 5.3 percent to 124 from 131; robberies fell 9.8 percent to 992 from 1,100; aggravated assaults increased 8.3 percent to 904 from 835; burglaries decreased 16.4 percent to 3,011 from 3,603; larcenies fell 3.5 percent to 18,356 from 19,027; and automobile thefts decreased 23.3% to 1,732 from 2,258.
Manger said that technology -- both inside and outside the department -- continues to help police solve crimes.
Inside the department, police are using computerized crime data analysis to target hot spots, and using more DNA testing and other forensic tools to help prove cases.
Outside the department, detectives are able to make more use of surveillance cameras to solve crimes -- even images captured by businesses across the streets from the businesses targeted by criminals.
“There are cameras everywhere,” Manger said.
-- Dan Morse
April 15, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories: Around the Nation , Crime Statistics , Dan Morse , Montgomery
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