Crime in Baltimore

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Crime in Baltimore has been an issue for many years,[when?] especially in areas with high poverty and drug activity.[citation needed]

Crime statistics[edit]

Baltimore reported 223 homicides in 2010. This has been part of a general trend in all violent crimes for the city, which have declined from 21,799 in 1993 to 9,316 in 2010. Even with stark population decline taken into account—Baltimore went from 732,968 residents in 1993 to just 620,961 in 2010—the drop in violent crime was significant, falling from 3.0 incidents per 100 residents to 1.6 incidents per 100 residents.[1]

Baltimore's level of violent crime is much higher than the national average. In 2009, a total of 1,318,398 violent crimes were reported nationwide across the United States, equivalent to a rate of 0.4 incidents per 100 people.[2]

In 2011, Baltimore police reported 196 homicides, the lowest number of slayings in the city since a count of 197 homicides in 1978 and far lower than the peak homicide count of 353 slayings in 1993. The drop is significant, but the homicide rate is nevertheless in the same range the city saw in the mid 1980s, when the city had another 130,000 residents. City leaders credit a sustained focus on repeat violent offenders and increased community engagement for the continued drop, reflecting a nationwide decline in crime.[citation needed]

By location[edit]


Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore is one of West Baltimore's most blighted and problematic communities.[3] In the second half of the 20th century, Sandtown experienced economic depression, housing abandonment, crime, and racial rioting in 1968.[4]


Further information: Berea, Baltimore

Though the area was once considered middle-class, it has in the last century experienced economic depression, housing abandonment, crime, and racial rioting. Its residents are largely lower income African Americans. A filming location for The Wire, a Baltimore based HBO drama, Berea is a neighborhood where Bloods gang members are concentrated.[5]

Ellwood Park[edit]

Further information: Ellwood Park, Baltimore

Ellwood Park is located in the middle of the most dangerous part of Baltimore, as based upon call volume to police and reports made.[6] Seven percent of Ellwood Park homes are vacant.[6] Nearly 30 percent of school aged children are chronically absent.[6] Home ownership hovers at around 30% of the properties in the area.[6]


The Baltimore Police Department is staffed by nearly 4000 civilian and sworn personnel. These include dispatchers, crime lab technicians, chaplains and unarmed auxiliary police officers. During Martin O'Malley's administration as mayor, the department had become 43% African American.[7]

In 2003, the FBI identified irregularities in the number of rapes reported, which was confirmed by then-Mayor Martin O'Malley. The number of homicides in 2005 appeared to exhibit discrepancies as well.[8] Former police commissioner Kevin P. Clark stated upon interview that the administration suppressed corrections to its crime reports;[9] however, many of the charges made by the police commissioner now appear to have been politically motivated.[10] The veracity of crime statistics reported by the Baltimore Police Department once again came under scrutiny in 2006, this time from Maryland legislators.[11]

See also[edit]

Criminal events:

Cultural aspects of crime:




  1. ^ "FBI – Table 4 Illinois – Missouri". Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Estimated crime in 2009". FBI Uniform Crime Reporting. Archived from the original on April 27, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Nick Madigan (June 11, 2008). "Outrage mingled with fear: Community responds after children, 2 and 3, are shot". The Baltimore Sun. 
  4. ^ "Sandtown-Winchester". Live in Baltimore. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ Gus G. Sentementes and Annie Linskey (April 15, 2007). "Gang problem hemorrhaging". The Baltimore Sun. 
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^ "Black police officers claim discrimination within Baltimore department". [dead link], The Seattle Times (December 7, 2006)
  8. ^ "Homicide Rate, Police Procedures Questioned". , WBAL-TV (February 14, 2006)
  9. ^ "Ex-Commish Raised Questions During Tenure". , WBAL-TV (February 22, 2006)
  10. ^ John Wagner and Tim Craig, Wagner, John; Craig, Tim (February 14, 2006). "Duncan Rebukes O'Malley Over Crime". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 26, 2010. , Washington Post (February 14, 2006)
  11. ^ "State Lawmaker Calls For Investigation Into Police". , WBAL-TV (February 14, 2006)

External links[edit]