Crime in Maryland dropped to its lowest levels since the FBI began tracking national crime data in 1975.
Gov. Martin O'Malley on Wednesday released 2011 crime data that show violent crimes and property crime had historic lows. The total number of reported crimes was down 4.6 percent with nearly 10,000 fewer crimes reported compared to 2010. And the number of crimes and total crime rate were the lowest in Maryland since the FBI adopted the Uniform Crime Reporting Program in 1975.
Arrests in the state decreased by 3 percent in 2011.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said the reduction in Maryland's violent crime rate demonstrates the value of coordinated efforts by local and federal law enforcement agencies to target and lock up dangerous career criminals.
"Sending armed felons and violent repeat offenders to prison prevents them from committing crimes, deters others from following in their footsteps and builds public confidence in law enforcement," Rosenstein said.
The number of reported crimes in Montgomery County dropped 10.7 percent, the third straight year of crime reduction. Violent crime dropped 6 percent, and property crime dropped 11.1 percent. Rates for violent crime and property crimes were record lows.
There were 15 killings in Montgomery County in 2011, compared with 16 in 2010.
Montgomery County State's Attorney John J. McCarthy credited law enforcement officers who police the neighborhoods and work with residents to counteract crime trends.
"A drop of 10.7 percent in overall crime in Montgomery County is a tribute to the effective intervention, prevention and public education strategies employed by Chief Tom Manger," McCarthy said.
In Prince George's County, total crime fell 11.5 percent, with violent crime falling 16.7 percent and property crime dropping 10.7 percent. The rates for all three are the county's lowest ever reported.
In 2011, there were 95 homicides in Prince George's County, up from 91 in 2010.
There were 398 homicides reported in the state in 2011, down 6.6 percent compared with 2010, and the lowest since 1985.
Incidents of rape dropped by 2.6 percent, and robberies fell by 6.5 percent. Aggravated assaults are down by 10.9 percent.
Since 2006, Maryland has seen violent crime drop 24.4 percent, exceeding the administration's goal to reduce crimes by 20 percent by the end of 2012.
In the five years, the number of juvenile homicide victims dropped 36 percent, and homicides against women fell 11.8 percent.
Col. Marcus Brown, superintendent of Maryland State Police, credited DNA technology, information sharing and better communication systems for combating violent crime.
Officials also credit more effective warrant service, a focus on violent repeat offenders, and improved supervision of offenders on probation and parole.