Crime in Baltimore

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Crime rates (2013)
Crime type Rate*
Homicide: 37.4
Forcible rape: 47.8
Robbery: 599.6
Aggravated assault: 716.2
Total Violent crime: 1,401.2
Burglary: 1,186.9
Larceny-theft: 3,042.6
Motor vehicle theft: 714.9
Total Property crime: 4,944.6
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.

Source: FBI 2013 UCR data

Crime statistics[edit]

In 2011, Baltimore police reported 196 homicides, the lowest number since recording 197 homicides in 1978.[1][2] That number is far lower than the peak homicide count of 353 in 1993.[3] The drop in 2011 was significant, but the homicide rate was in the same range as the late 1980s when the city had another 130,000 residents. City leaders credited their sustained focus on repeat violent offenders and an increased community engagement for the continued drop, reflecting a nationwide decline in crime.[4] However, Baltimore's decline was short-lived, as a reported 219 and 235 homicides were committed in 2012 and 2013, respectively.[5][6] Baltimore's jump in homicides in 2013 defied regional and national trends.[7][8]

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.[9]

By location[edit]


Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore is one of West Baltimore's most blighted and problematic communities.[10] In the second half of the 20th century, Sandtown experienced economic depression, housing abandonment, crime, and racial rioting in 1968.[11]


Further information: Berea, Baltimore

Though the area was once considered middle-class, Berea has in the last century experienced economic depression, housing abandonment, crime, and racial rioting. Its residents are largely lower income African Americans. The neighborhood served as a filming location for the Baltimore-based HBO television drama, The Wire. Berea is also a neighborhood where Bloods gang members are concentrated.[12]

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.[13] Seven percent of Ellwood Park homes are vacant.[13] Nearly 30 percent of school aged children are chronically absent.[13] Home ownership hovers at around 30% of the properties in the area.[13]


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.[14]

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.[15] Former police commissioner Kevin P. Clark stated upon interview that the administration suppressed corrections to its crime reports;[16] however, many of the charges made by the police commissioner now appear to have been politically motivated.[17] The veracity of crime statistics reported by the Baltimore Police Department once again came under scrutiny in 2006, this time from Maryland legislators.[18]

See also[edit]

Criminal events:

Cultural aspects of crime:




  1. ^ "Baltimore Sees Lowest Homicide Count Since 1978". WJZ-TV. January 1, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Baltimore has fewer than 200 killings for first time in decades". The Baltimore Sun. January 1, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ "46 slayings in 41 days push homicide rate up". The Baltimore Sun. November 11, 1994. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Baltimore Sees Lowest Homicide Count Since 1978". WJZ-TV. January 1, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Baltimore Passes Curfew For Youth". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Baltimore Marks 200th Homicide Of 2013". The Huffington Post. November 7, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Baltimore’s jump in homicides in 2013 defies national trends". Baltimore Brew. January 2, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ "New FBI statistics: Baltimore No. 5 in murder rate". The Baltimore Sun. November 10, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Estimated crime in 2009". FBI Uniform Crime Reporting. Archived from the original on April 27, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ Nick Madigan (June 11, 2008). "Outrage mingled with fear: Community responds after children, 2 and 3, are shot". The Baltimore Sun. 
  11. ^ "Sandtown-Winchester". Live in Baltimore. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ Gus G. Sentementes and Annie Linskey (April 15, 2007). "Gang problem hemorrhaging". The Baltimore Sun. 
  13. ^ a b c d
  14. ^ "Black police officers claim discrimination within Baltimore department". [dead link], The Seattle Times (December 7, 2006)
  15. ^ "Homicide Rate, Police Procedures Questioned". , WBAL-TV (February 14, 2006)
  16. ^ "Ex-Commish Raised Questions During Tenure". , WBAL-TV (February 22, 2006)
  17. ^ 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)
  18. ^ "State Lawmaker Calls For Investigation Into Police". , WBAL-TV (February 14, 2006)

External links[edit]