The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has recently released their Annual Report for 2011. The report was officially released on Friday June 1, and contains updated statistics and information on police activity and crime in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Overall, crime has decrease substantially since last year. The District of Columbia saw its lowest number of annual homicides in almost half a century and the MPD had an impressive homicide-case closure rate. For example, in 2008, there were 186 homicides in the District. In 2011, that number was reduced by 42 percent to 108 homicides - the lowest number of homicides in nearly half a century. Additionally, the homicide closure rate went from 75 percent in 2008 to 95 percent in 2011. The national average for cities of comparable size to Washington, DC is about 56 percent.
The 2011 homicide total is the lowest since 1963, the last year the District had fewer than 100 homicides. Sexual assaults increased by 23 percent in 2011. The number of rob assaults with a dangerous weapon declined 21 percent since 2007. Robberies citywide remains five percent lower than it was in 2007. Compared to 2010, there was a six percent decrease in burglaries.
The portion of the city east of the Anacostia River, which has long had the dubious distinction of leading the District in homicides, also saw a dramatic reduction in homicides. Before 2005, there were consistently more than 100 homicides annually in the police districts east of the Anacostia. In 2011, homicides east of the river were reduced by half.
Despite the overall decrease in crimes, hate crimes have increased in the past year. A hate crime is a criminal act that demonstrates an accused's prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, homelessness, physical disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of a victim of the subject designated act.
Bias-related crimes have increased by 34 percent, from 68 in 2010 to 91 in 2011. The largest jump was for crimes based on a racial bias, up 93 percent, from 14 crimes in 2010 to 27 in 2011. The overwhelming majority of homicide victims continue to be black males; black females represent the second largest group. Hate crimes based on ethnicity or national origin bias increased 75 percent, from four to seven. Crimes with a bias based on sexual orientation increased 23 percent, from 35 to 43.
Sexual Orientation accounts for 45 percent of the total offenses in 2011.
Bias related to sexual orientation has remained the most frequent type of bias for hate crimes in the District, accounting for 48 percent of all hate crimes in 2011. Bias crimes based on gender identity or expression increased from 10 in 2010 to 11 in 2011. Together, three out of every five bias-related crimes are based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Simple or aggravated assaults are the most common type of hate crimes (73 percent). Destruction or defacing of property is the next most common type of offense, representing 16 percent of all hate crimes in 2011. With three fewer crimes than in 2010, robbery fell to just 8 percent of all hate crimes in 2011, a decrease from 16 percent in 2010.
Although the Third Police District still accounts for the highest percentage of hate crimes (27 percent), the First District, which had the largest increase in hate crimes (11 crimes), is close behind with 24 percent. The other districts all represented from nine to 12 percent of the bias-related crimes.
For more information, visit the MPD Website.
To access the full MPD Annual Report for 2011, click HERE.