- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
Violent crime in D.C. surges in 2012
Internal police data show citywide problem
Violent crime so far this year in the District has spiked sharply — a 40 percent increase that includes twice as many robberies at gunpoint than at this time last year.
Across the city, all police districts are reporting increases in violent crime, and all but one have had double-digit percentage increases, according to internal Metropolitan Police Department documents. The documents contained preliminary crime data for the city as of Thursday.
The crime rate is increasing this year after a downward trend — the number of reported homicides last year dropped to the lowest level in a half-century.
Homicides were the only category of violent crime to decline in the first six weeks this year. As of Thursday, the city had recorded 10 homicides compared with 11 at a similar point last year.
Overall, though, incidents of violent crime — homicides, sexual assaults, robberies and assaults with deadly weapons — are rising at an alarming pace.
The biggest increase was in the 1st District, which includes Capitol Hill, where violent crime jumped by 69 percent, with 110 incidents reported compared with 65 at this point last year. The highest increase was in the 7th District, east of the Anacostia River, where 181 were reported, up 43 percent from the 127 incidents recorded at this point in 2011.
The 2nd District, which includes upper Northwest, reported the smallest increase in violent crime, at 4 percent. But of the 53 violent crimes reported there, 37 were robberies. A series of potentially related robberies in several of the affluent neighborhoods there has raised concern among residents, prompting a community meeting scheduled by D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh for Thursday.
“People are beginning to not feel safe,” Ms. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, said last week after a news conference at 2nd District headquarters to discuss the increase in robberies.
Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier warned of a citywide spike in robberies at a Feb. 10 news conference. She said the increase was attributable to criminals targeting smartphones and similar electronics.
During the news conference, Chief Lanier presented statistics on robberies for 2011, which compared somewhat favorably to data from 2010. According to those statistics, robberies with guns were down 11 percent from 2010 to last year, while robberies without guns were up 12 percent over the same period.
Statistics obtained by The Washington Times show that the 578 robberies recorded this year represent an increase of 55 percent compared with figures from the opening weeks of 2011. In addition, the number of robberies in which a gun was used has more than doubled, with 252 such robberies this year compared with 124 last year. The 396 robberies citywide in January topped January robbery totals in any year from 2008 to 2011.
Despite the recent news conferences on robberies, the crime numbers come as something of a surprise. An online crime-mapping tool on the police website that residents can use to track crime statistics in real time has been offline since the year began. Police originally said the site would be up by the end of last week. Now they say it will return early this week.
In Vincent C. Gray’s State of the District address Feb. 7, the mayor minimized the spike.
“In the first few weeks of 2012, thefts were up over the same period last year — and in a few neighborhoods robberies were also up,” Mr. Gray said. “Crime, whether it’s petty theft or armed robbery, will not be tolerated in our city, period — no excuses.”
But the statistics show that robberies jumped in every police district — far from increases “in a few neighborhoods.” The hikes ranged from a low of 29 percent in the 3rd District, a large part of which includes the city’s downtown core, to a 100 percent jump in the 1st District.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- D.C. Council sues Mayor Gray, CFO over budget autonomy law
- D.C. Council sues Mayor Gray over budget autonomy law
- Guilty verdict in execution-style killings of 2 women, 2 children in Lanham
- Minority parties see power grab for D.C. vote
- Two bodies found under bridge near Southeast D.C. highway
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China; prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Brain surgery victim struggles with Obamacare: 'It's scary'
- 2-week truce for hot sauce maker, California city
- Twitter blocks accounts critical of Turkish government
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014