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Homicides Surge in Northern District

Recent city police figures show a 75 percent rise in homicides.

Homicides Surge in Northern District

The Northern District experienced an alarming surge in homicides in 2012, according to the latest police figures updated through Dec. 29. 

The stats showed that the number of homicides jumped by 12 additional cases in 2012, a 75 percent rise from the previous year. Sixteen homicides were recorded in 2011, versus 28 in 2012.

At mid-year the district appeared to be heading for a much higher body count when homicides were up 140 percent compared to the same time in 2011.

Maj. Sabrina Tapp-Harper, the district commander, said late last year that much of the rise in homicides could be attributed to a struggle between the Black Guerilla Family and the Bloods in the Greenmount Avenue and York Road corridor. The district also had its number of homicides increased when at least two people died this year from wounds suffered in previous years.

There was also a 16 percent increase in commercial robberies and a 14 percent increase in street robberies.

Overall, however, the most serious crime dropped by five percent in 2012.

Police report one less shooting, two less forcible rapes and 105 fewer burglaries in comparison to 2011.

The Northern District’s crime figures resemble those reported citywide where there was a spike in the number of homicides, but a drop in crime overall.

According to a news release from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office on Jan. 1, total violent crime was down 5 percent, part one crime was down 5 percent and total gun crime was down about 6 percent.

The city did experience 20 more homicides in 2012 than it did the year before, which can largely be attributed to the increase in homicides in the Northern District.

"We will not be satisfied until Baltimore becomes one of the safest big cities in America," Rawlings-Blake said in the release. "We are very proud of the work of BPD command staff and all the members of the department for their hard work over the last year and the progress made.  Continuing to reduce all crime and violence is central to our goal of growing Baltimore by 10,000 families."

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