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You Tell Us: What’s Causing the Northern District Crime Spike?

Patch wants to know what you think is behind a spike in violent crime in North Baltimore.

It’s been a tough year for violent crime in the Northern District.

According to the most recent ComStat data, online crime is up in several categories including a 100 percent increase year to date in homicides, a 33 percent increase year to date in shootings and a 19 percent increase year to date in robberies. 

"We've had some tough luck on homicides this year," Deputy Maj. Richard Worley told the Hampden Community Council earlier this week.

Gun crimes are up across the board year to date by 17 percent, which include robberies, carjackings and aggravated assault.

Although total property crime is at the same level as it was a year ago.

Despite the issues, Worley said police at the district are confident they will get things under control before the end of the year.

"We've been in this situation before but we'll bounce back," Worley said.

So what do you think is causing the spike? Tell us in the comments.

Crime 2011 2012  Percent Homicide 9 18 + 100% Shooting 18 24 +33% Robbery Total 268 318 +19% Aggravated Assault 326 296 -9% Burglary 787 688 -13% Larceny Total 1,375 1,481 +8% Auto Theft 297 298 0%
Christian September 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM
One of the major reasons for the spike is due to the current economic conditions and unemployment in the city, along with a blatant disregard for human life. To offset this the BCPD must have visible police presence in the communities within the Northern District and establish a "Neighborhood Watch" program rather than the existing neighborhood patrols attended by men, women and children. The Neighborhood Watch program is far superior to these planned walks in the community because the neighbors know who should be in the neighborhood and can report to the police any suspicious activities. Bring back the cop on the beat because he/she will know her neighborhood and be able to assist the neighbors in any crime related issue on a one person to another basis.
AnnKangarouse September 26, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Money that is supposed to be going to, or should be going into our community is being given away elsewhere. Heck. When our own disctrict councilman is in favor of closing long time businesses as well of churches, in lieu of parking lots and huge high dollar development deals, we realize we are in deep trouble,
Eliot Watts September 26, 2012 at 04:45 PM
The Northern is lead by a bunch of clowns, that's why there is problems, no leadership. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall when Batts realizes what he has in command staff.
Kerry Craven September 26, 2012 at 04:58 PM
What I would welcome is a beat cop presence in some of the Northern neighborhoods. They have proven statistically that the physical presence of officers on foot is one of the biggest deterrents to crimes of opportunity. I also don't think it helps when a citizen calls the detective of record about a case (in response to a wanted composite) that they don't take the caller's number, don't ask more specific questions. Let's see if they check out the lead provided to them........There is also a huge disconnect in the reporting of crimes in conjunction with the crime maps out there.....they are exceedingly out of date. What about a flyer to the community, especially about potential serial sexual assaulters???
Tom Kiefaber September 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
The city's leadership is abysmal and corrupt, and that's becoming increasingly obvious to Baltimore's demoralized citizenry. Folks know the scams and fraud are rife, centered in City Hall, and so Baltimore's general sense of lawlessness comes from the top down and metastasizing. The old adage, *a fish stinks from the head* is applicable to our increasing crime levels. It exacerbates crime as folks observe our government kleptocracy and are determined to "get theirs" too, as our leaders are doing. Added to that dynamic is North Baltimore's shameful chasm between the have and have nots, the opportunities to victimize are plentiful, and there you have it. As long as the thieves and fools we elect are pillaging at City Hall and the BDC calls the shots, it will not get better, regardless what the cop predicts as it's his job to say something optimistic to the media. It's just more kicking the can down the road.
Christian September 26, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I am not too sure that I agree with Mr. Kiefaber's analysis of City Hall in that much of the main cause of problems involves "governmental kleptocracy". I think rather that there is an undercurrent of individual employed by the government who physically have the opportunity to change voices and opinions and do so readily. In some instances during sign in sheets have been misplaced by these individuals so that an actual count could be made to show that we represented a position with more votes than those which were tallied up. A loss of 12,000 ballots signed and hand- delivered to each City Council Member, were not available at a time when a count on an issue was taken. Remarks made by so-called stakeholders who represent outside entities have taken the voice of the people away from them and suddenly those who oppose anything are not afforded the opportunity to express and/or explain their thoughts without preconceived impressions. It is time for our elected to sit and listen to the people who employed them by vote and not rely so much on some low level employee who may be serving two masters.
baltochick September 26, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I second and third the request for beat cop presence. I'm a lifetime city girl and I can remember "back in the day" when we had cops on the beat in the city. It made a world of difference when there were feet on the ground instead of the drive by policing with spotlights that we get now. We knew our neighborhood cop by name and he knew us. A mutual respect grew and It became easy for him to spot someone "out of place." Residents knew they could trust him. I've been told that there's an increased presence of officers in our neighborhood (Better Waverly / Waverly) right now as the result of the uptick in burglaries, but I can honestly say I haven't felt it or seen it first hand. Being a city child I've never been afraid of my home, but I can say that the rash of break ins in the neighborhood does have me on edge and I don't feel like my property is safe when I'm not there. Thank goodness for alarm systems.
bill cunningham September 26, 2012 at 08:10 PM
you don't care,so why are you asking
Tom Kiefaber September 26, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Bill, Now you've got a good point there. Actually this particular Patch guy Adam Bednar just redeemed himself from the general Patch, flat tire, dog bite, cat in a tree, carjack! level of coverage when he just picked up on an extremely revealing situation taking place around Revered Heber Brown and his Pleasant Hope church congregation. Seems that city councilman "BDC Bill" Henry has been making *upscale* development, parking *profiling* moves to chase the church congregation out, despite the fact that they've been wonderful members of the community for many decades. Adam just broke that story.. BRAVO! which has a whole lot of folks taking about other machinations in the coming unwrapped commercial district expansion plan.
Dee Spencer September 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM
The city budget issues have impacted the police budget also. We understand that special ops officers -- plainclothes robbery and drug units, for instance -- are virtually non-existent. We must have investigators in the field building quality cases and not leaving it up to patrol cops who would likely only witness and be able to charge lesser crimes.
Dee Spencer September 27, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Beat cops don't stop killings and robberies or break up drug rings -- special units and smart investigations do. The city budget issues have impacted the police budget also. We understand that special ops officers -- plainclothes robbery and drug units, for instance -- are virtually non-existent. We must have investigators in the field building quality cases and not leaving it up to patrol cops who would likely only witness and be able to charge lesser crimes.
Sean Tully September 27, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Thanks God nobody has said the increase is because the great Bealefeld is gone. The fact is that Tom Kiefaber has it mostly right in that our leadership stinks and nothing in this city is going to change as long as we keep putting in office these people. I am a Democrat but I really think Baltimore would benefit from a "Rudy" Giuliani type Republican. We also need to bring back the "broken window" theory policing.
baltochick September 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Dee I wouldn't, of course, disagree with you that special ops officers are needed. But I'm not sure how you can make a blanket statement that beat cops wouldn't ALSO help drive crime down. Just like a criminal will often pass by a house with a dog in it he will also likely pass by an area with a highly visibly officer. I think it has pretty much been proven that a strong police presence in a neighborhood does indeed help reduce the crime rate. In addition, people who have learned to distrust cops and live in fear of the criminals are less likely to be helpful eyes and ears. But a relationship with the police can rebuild trust. That's never going to happen with patrol car policing. It's certainly not the only answer, but its one strategy that may help and would go a long way towards making residents feel safer again. There have been four shootings in the city since yesterday afternoon...three in "our" area. The issue has reached a critical point.
Christian September 27, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I certainly don't believe that "Rudy" would really improve the conditions at all in this city as he did little for Manhattan. I lived in Manhattan when he was Mayor and he was a bust as far as most of us believed and in fact some residents believed that he hindered the policing of the city. He did have a tremendous public relations behind him and knew how to use it and if he picked up a rock in the middle of the road, it was broadcast day and night as some incredible feat. His handling of the dealings at the fish market were of television quality, but of no benefit of the control over the fish coming into the city. What this city really needs is a Police Department that plays fairly with all quarters of the community and does not pander with certain institutions and hide things under the rug.
Balt Observer September 27, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Hey, I have a novel idea. Why don't we blame the perpetrators who are actually the ones performing these heinous crimes? I don't recall ever running away in fear from the Mayor or Jack Young.
Tom Kiefaber September 27, 2012 at 05:22 PM
"I don't recall ever running away in fear from the Mayor or Jack Young." expresses *BO* . Attend some public meeting and witness the nasty, execrable tactic's employed by our arrogant, machine "leaders". You'll see plenty of figurative running away in palpable fear. Their crimes involve weapons of retribution as effective and despicable as handguns and knives. Get out in the world and open your eyes BO, it's all on shameful display to those not too far gone to see the *naked lunch* in City Hall for what it is.
Balt Observer September 27, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Well, Kiefaber, so you have said countless times with no proof. At any rate, they are certainly not putting guns and knives in the hands of these gangbangers and telling them to kill, loot, and pillage. Try practicing some personal accountability sometime, Kiefaber. You might actually make something of your life.
Tom Kiefaber September 27, 2012 at 05:54 PM
This BO character is a strange ghost, who displays an unhealthy obsession with me, perhaps an enraged and nasty spurned former admirer or wanna be lover, turned seething hater. Is there such a thing as an online peace order? BO's fixated, anonymous coward mode, has now morphed into a creepy, bag-O-bile green shadow, who's crossed over to cyber-stalker mode, without apparent provocation.
Balt Observer September 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM
LOL...you simply can't debate rationally when you don't have the power to delete the posts of your opponent, can you?
Kerry Craven September 27, 2012 at 06:02 PM
How in the hell did this discussion turn into a Senator Fest?
Tom Kiefaber September 27, 2012 at 06:15 PM
@ BO, *Debate* an anonymous troll cyber-stalker obsessed with me personally in ways that jump off the page as warped and soaked in bile for lord knows why? Yeah right. :-) If you choose to set up a legit debate, in public, with a neutral moderator and then stand up personally for what you believe in, as I do, and I'm there. Otherwise you're just inconsequential, cyber-slime cowardice, casting bilious rage and truly creepy taunts towards your present obsession. Buh- bye, BO, your funk has pervaded this forum to such a degree, it's become fetid and repulsive to me and others. And then there was one...
Balt Observer September 27, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Well, Kiefaber, everyone else here debates and stands up for what they believe in. You apparently cannot do so unless you can delete the posts of your opponent when you are being summarily thrashed (as you so often are). Good for you to get all your bile out now though - I know you've had a rough go of it lately. PS...I know you're a little tight on money supposedly, so with Halloween coming up, you might want to think of marketing that creepy bag-O-bile. Free entrepreneurial idea for ya. :-)
Tom Kiefaber September 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM
@Kerry Kraven, My fault, once removed. One of a few notorious (always anonymous) cyber-stalkers got my coordinates when I posted here on this subject. I'll vamoose now and they'll generally follow me and no longer hijack the discussion here in the direction of The Senator Theatre. Sorry, these wack-jobs are cyber parasites that you can't scape off with a sharp rock. :-(
Balt Observer September 27, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Psst...hey Kiefaber - look back at my original post on this article and tell me where I made any reference to you. Silly fringe crackpots. ;-)

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