Crime in 2017: Fewer robberies, sex offenses and car thefts; more assaults

Assaults increased in 2017 in the Richmond Highway area while murders, robberies, sex assaults and car thefts all decreased, according to crime statistics released last week by the Fairfax County Police Department.

Overall, crime dropped by more than 4 percent in 2017 in the Mount Vernon police district, which overlaps with most of the Richmond Highway area. Crime in the district had jumped by 10 percent in 2016.

Countywide, there was a 1.6 percent decrease in crime in 2017, compared to a 2 percent increase in 2016, according to the FCPD.

The biggest factor in the drop in crime in the Richmond Highway area was a nearly 9 percent decrease in so-called “crimes against property,” which include car theft, burglaries, robbery, larceny, fraud, arson, forgery, and other crimes. 

Murders down, assaults up

The Mount Vernon police district saw a decrease in two out of the four offenses in the police’s “crimes against persons” category. There were three fewer homicides in 2017, with the December stabbing death of Luis Bonilla in Hybla Valley being the only murder. There were seven more kidnapping/abductions (28 total) and 10 fewer sex offenses (35 total) in the district.

Assaults jumped in all but one of the county’s police districts in 2017, including a 1.4 percent increase in the Mount Vernon district. The Mount Vernon district once again had more assaults than any other district, although its percentage increase was the smallest among the seven districts that saw more assaults in 2017.

Graph of stats

Click to enlarge (Fairfax County Police image)

The “crimes against society” category — which includes drug, gambling, prostitution and weapons offenses — saw a 4.8 percent increase in 2017 in the Mount Vernon district. A jump in drug arrests contributed most to the increase.

The 9 percent drop in “crimes against property” included 28 fewer car thefts, 80 fewer fraud offenses, and 120 fewer destruction of property/vandalism offenses.

Graph of stats

Click to enlarge (FCPD image)

Graph of stats

Click to enlarge (Fairfax Police image)6-

Other notable stats

After leading the department in response times in 2016, the Mount Vernon station dropped to third overall in 2017. The station had a 3.5-minute response time in 2016 for high-priority calls, compared to a 3.8-minute response time in 2017. The Mason district station’s 3.5-minute response was tops overall, followed by the McLean station’s 3.6-minute response.

The number of calls for service for criminal offenses in the Mount Vernon district was nearly identical from 2016 to 2017. After recording 10,910 in 2016, there were 10,918 in 2017. The overall calls for service in the Mount Vernon district — including traffic and service calls, in addition to criminal calls — was the fifth-highest out of the eight district stations. The Franconia district station had the most calls for service, with 66,215.

The FCPD’s overall case closure rate increased from 41.51 percent to 44.77 percent.

About the methodology

The FCPD report follows standards set forth by the Virginia State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Incident Based Reporting (IBR) system. All of the crimes listed in the FCPD report are so-called Group A offenses, which are considered the most serious by the state police. Group B offenses consist of things like disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, drunkeness, vagrancy and loitering.

Crimes against people are calculated by the number of victims, while crimes against property or society are calculated by the number of events.

A full breakdown of the county’s Group A offenses can be found here