Press Club

Report Shows Mixed Bag for Crime Stats in 2013

MWCOG crime stats for Arlington in 2013There was good news and bad news for Arlington County in the latest compilation of annual crime stats.

The good: No homicides were reported in Arlington County in 2013 — a 100 percent drop compared to the five cases in 2012. Rape cases decreased from 31 to 26, a 16 percent drop. Reports of burglaries were also down 16 percent and motor vehicle thefts experienced a 14 percent drop.

The bad: reports of aggravated assaults were up 34 percent in 2013 and robbery and larceny reports also increased slightly compared to last year with 8 and 5 percent increases, respectively.

The statistics were released this week by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG).

Neighboring Alexandria had a reverse situation concerning homicides in 2013. The area reported no cases in 2012 compared to five in 2013. Alexandria experienced a 40 percent rise in reported rapes during the same period.

In total, Arlington County’s 358 sworn police officers responded tf 87,530 calls for service, up from the 80,872 calls reported in 2012. Overall, crime in the entire Washington metro region was down 2.6 percent from 2012 and 12 percent from the four-year high in 2009.

One noticeable uptick in crime for the entire Northern Virginia area highlighted in the report involved bicycle thefts, although no specific numbers were given. (Last year, MWCOG highlighted the problem of cell phone theft.)

Many of those bike thefts occurred from unlocked garages and near Metro stops, according to MWCOG. Officials say they weren’t surprised considering the growing popularity of bike commuting and facilities tailored to pedal-powered commuters. The United States Census recently reported a 30 percent increase in residents using bikes to get to work. 

Officials hope those theft numbers drop as more riders record their serial numbers with local police departments and as general awareness about bicycle safety and security increases.

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