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Arlington Crime Rate Drops in 2016

Arlington’s crime rate dipped by almost 3 percent in 2016, but the number of pedestrian-involved crashes rose slightly according to new data from the Arlington County Police Department.

It is the third consecutive year that crime has declined in the county. In 2015, the crime rate dropped by about 6 percent, while in 2014 it dropped by 8.22 percent.

The crime rate takes into account only “Part I” offenses — homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. The grand total was 3,512 in 2016, down from 3,628 in 2015.

Of those offenses, four saw increases from 2015:

  • Rapes increased from 27 to a five-year high of 41.
  • Aggravated assaults jumped from 144 to 177.
  • There were 182 burglaries, up from 179 the year before.
  • Vehicle thefts increased to 167 from 161.

Larcenies and robberies both dropped, while the murder rate held steady with one homicide last year: a fatal stabbing near the intersection of S. Glebe Road and 3rd Street S. on April 1. Police charged a 17-year-old with the murder of Dennis Adams, 46, in what police said was a “domestic incident” that took place in a home nearby.

“Part II” offenses — various felonies and misdemeanors — dropped to 7,288 in 2016 from 7,313 in 2015. Police said they received 83,511 calls for service in 2016, a 4.5 percent drop from 87,475 in 2015.

There were 140 fewer car accidents last year, while crashes involving bicycles — at least those reported to the police department — declined to 32 in 2016 from 46 in 2015. There were 127 crashes involving pedestrians in 2016, 24 more than in 2015, something department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said did not necessarily indicate a wider trend.

Instead, Savage said, police look at the five-year statistics on such crashes. She noted that the previous year’s total of 103 was a low, while the 2012 and 2014 figures all hovered around the 130 mark, which she said is “probably our median.”

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