Crime in Arlington Declines in 2012

Police car lightsCrime was down and arrests were up in Arlington in 2012, according to a report from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

The report, released earlier this month, showed that reported offenses dropped 2 percent from 4,169 in 2011 to 4,084 in 2012. At the same time, the Arlington County Police Department reported 931 arrests in 2012, compared to 875 arrests in 2011.

(The report focuses on the following types of crimes: homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle thefts.)

Arlington crime stats in 2012Despite the good news, three types of crime were up significantly in Arlington in 2012. There were five homicides in 2012, compared to zero in 2011. There were 31 reported rapes in 2012, compared to 23 in 2011 — a 35 percent increase. Burglaries were also up 14 percent.

Total calls for service to Arlington’s 911 call center were also down, from 115,982 in 2011 to 80,872 in 2012. With 358 sworn police officers — unchanged since 2011 — Arlington had fewer officers per call compared to Alexandria, the City of Fairfax and the District of Columbia, but more officers than Fairfax County, Loudoun County and the City of Falls Church.

One ongoing area of concern for Arlington police, and police departments across the region, was cell phone thefts.

“Theft of cellular devices, particularly cell phones, has become a cross-jurisdictional concern and is a widespread problem throughout the United States,” the Council of Governments said in the report. “In late 2012, the FCC teamed up with law enforcement to combat theft and cross-border trafficking of mobile electronic devices. Mobile service providers initiated an international stolen device database that will use shared information to identify and deactivate a stolen device after it has been reported stolen to the police… Further mitigation strategies are planned for 2013 at the national level.”