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Assaults drop sharply citywide in February
(Published March 6, 2006)

The number of violent assaults reported to D.C. police dropped sharply in February, compared to the same period a year ago, according to new crime data from the Metropolitan Police Department.

The Fifth District in Northeast Washington was the only one of the city’s seven police districts that experienced an increase in assaults with a deadly weapon last month, as citywide totals registered an 18.6 percent overall drop. Citywide, there were 223 assaults last month, 52 fewer than reported in February 2005.

In the Fifth District, which includes the Greater Brookland area, the actual number of assaults went up by only two over the February 2005 total, but the slight increase resulted in a 5.9 percent rise for that crime category. Overall reported crime in the Fifth District declined 10 percent last month, even though the district registered an 83.9 percent increase in burglaries over the 31 that were reported in February 2005. Robberies, thefts and stolen autos all recorded double-digit drops last month in the Fifth District.

Overall major crime – including homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, thefts from autos, stolen autos and arson – was almost unchanged citywide from a year ago. The 2,292 major crimes reported to police last month were 14 fewer crimes than reported in February 2005.

The largest increase in violent crime citywide last month was a 112.5 percent increase in homicides, with 17 last month outpacing the eight that occurred in February 2005. Overall, homicides are up 33.3 percent in the first two months of this year, compared to the same period a year ago. A total of 28 persons had been killed in the city through Feb. 28, with an additional three homicides reported in the first three days of March.

The largest drop in crime last month was 16.3 percent recorded in the Seventh Police District of Far Southeast and Far Southwest Washington, primarily comprising Ward 8. A 51.2 percent drop in thefts from autos and a 44.2 percent drop in burglaries helped offset a 94.4 percent increase in thefts experienced last month in the Seventh District, compared with February 2005.

The largest increase in crime last month was 10.4 percent recorded in the Third Police District, where robberies went up 48.3 percent and stolen autos jumped 20.7 percent. The First Police District recorded a 9.1 percent rise in crime, with robberies increasing 60 percent and burglaries jumping 28.8 percent.

Crime dropped last month in the Second, Fourth and Sixth Police Districts, compared with data from February 2005. Despite a 27.8 percent increase in thefts, the Sixth District experienced an overall 8.9 percent drop in crime. In the Second District, overall crime went down 4.3 percent, although burglaries went up 25 percent and thefts increased 23.5 percent. In the Fourth District, overall crime dropped 2.9 percent, with a 48.7 percent drop in assaults helping to offset a 36.7 percent increase in robberies and a 28.8 percent rise in stolen autos.

Copyright 2006 The Common Denominator