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Homicides Up 140% in Northern District

Crime statistics are about flat with this time last year, but there are increases in robberies and homicides.

It's halfway through 2012, and North Baltimore's crime statistics are mostly on pace with last year’s figures, but there are some alarming trends in homicides and robberies.

Homicides in the are up 140 percent compared to the same time last year. According to the Baltimore City police’s most recent ComStat numbers, there have been 12 homicides in the district, compared to five at the same time last year. The three-year average for homicides at this time of year between 2009 and 2011 is six.

, commander of the Northern District, said some of the jump in homicides can be explained by two people dying in 2012 of wounds suffered in previous years, and one recent domestic homicide. 

Overall, robberies are also up 29 percent, including a 32 percent increase in the number of reported street robberies, a 27 percent increase in commercial robberies and a 50 percent increases in residential robberies. 

"We did see a spike in the robberies but several of them had multiple victims," Tapp-Harper said.

She said one example is , where items were taken from 11 people, so the incident didn't go down as one, but 11 different robberies. Tapp-Harper also said that several shoplifting incidents, where the shoplifter wound up tussling with an employee, became robberies, and juveniles taking cell phones from other juveniles are also listed as robberies. 

Mark Counselman, president of the Oakenshawe Improvement Association, said his neighbors generally aren't too concerned about homicides, because they tend to be involved with the drug trade that his neighbors are not involved in. 

"It's the robberies, street crimes and property crimes that have a bigger impact on us than homicide numbers," Counselman said.

He said that when there has been an issue—such as an aggravated assault on University Parkway—the Northern District and Tapp-Harper have been very quick to communicate with the community.

"It's impressive. I really think they're doing a good job," Counselman said.

Judith Kunst, president of the Greater Remington Improvement Association, said the statistics concerned her, and that issues such as burglaries, robberies and carjackings do worry neighbors.

"My concern is the fact there have been a lot of different things going on within the department, and I hope they can get a new commissioner and get things back on track," Kunst said. 

But Kunst also expressed confidence in Tapp-Harper, and the district's ability to address crime in the area. 

"Tapp-harper is very competent and I hope she can get the numbers down," Kunst said.  

Shootings—which Frederick Bealefeld III has previously called the best indicator of violence—are down from the same time last year. During the summer of 2011, there were 12 shootings in the district; so far this year, there have been 11 recorded.

Tapp-Harper said she expects things to improve throughout the rest of the year. She praised police, while adding that they still have work to do.

"I think that we’re pretty on par. I’m particularly happy about how our burglary numbers are looking," Tapp-Harper said. 

A recent example of officers being in the right place at the right time, according to Tapp-Harper, happened late last month when a man was robbed, and told a nearby officer. That officer sent out a description of the robber that helped lead to his arrest.

"Patrol is in the right place, deployment is in the right place, and I think you'll see some greater results later in the year," Tapp-Harper said.

*Figures are from ComStat, which are different from Uniform Crime Report numbers. Uniform Crime Reports numbers count incidents and ComStat counts victims.

 

Homicides:

  • Mid year 2012:12
  • Mid year 2011:5
  • Total 2011: 15

Shootings:

  • Mid year 2012: 11
  • Mid year 2011: 12
  • Total 2011: 30

Forcible Rape:

  • Mid year 2012: 12
  • Mid year 2011: 19
  • Total 2011: 27

Robbery:

  • Mid year 2012: 196
  • Mid year 2011: 152
  • Total 2011: 378

Burglary:

  • Mid year 2012: 371
  • Mid year 2011: 433
  • Total 2011: 1,128

Larceny from Auto:

  • Mid year 2012: 353
  • Mid year 2011: 362
  • Total 2011: 768

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