Ju­ve­nile ar­rests are down in Bal­ti­more

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - — Jes­sica An­der­son

Bal­ti­more po­lice have made sig­nif­i­cantly fewer ju­ve­nile ar­rests com­pared with this time last year, the lat­est city crime sta­tis­tics show.

There were 209 ju­ve­nile ar­rests through the week end­ing April 7, down 56 per­cent from the 472 ar­rests at the same point last year.

The de­clines were ev­i­dent across ma­jor crime cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing rob­bery (down 67 per­cent), ag­gra­vated as­sault (down 71 per­cent), bur­glary (down 82 per­cent), lar­ceny (57 per­cent), auto theft (27 per­cent). Ar­rests for drug abuse vi­o­la­tions were down 21 per­cent.

There were also fewer ju­ve­nile ar­rests for fraud, van­dal­ism and pos­sess­ing or car­ry­ing weapons. There were no cat­e­gories in which ju­ve­nile ar­rests in­creased.

Ar­rests of sus­pects of all ages are down 11 per­cent in the city.

There were sev­eral high-pro­file as­saults and rob­beries in 2017 that po­lice be­lieve were com­mit­ted by ju­ve­niles. They in­cluded the as­sault of a wo­man on Hal­loween night in South Bal­ti­more and an as­sault of a fam­ily of tourists at the In­ner Har­bor.

“The sit­u­a­tion with these ju­ve­niles is out of con­trol,” City Coun­cil­man Eric T. Costello said in Novem­ber.

City Coun­cil­woman Mary Pat Clarke called ju­ve­nile crime “the ma­jor is­sue of the day.”

Bal­ti­more po­lice did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment on the de­cline in ju­ve­nile ar­rests.

There have been sim­i­lar de­clines in city in­take com­plaints to the Depart­ment of Ju­ve­nile Ser­vices. Those are down 17 per­cent com­pared to last year, pre­lim­i­nary data shows.

In­take com­plaints can in­volve mul­ti­ple charges stem­ming from a sin­gle in­ci­dent. Some ju­ve­niles have mul­ti­ple com­plaints filed against them from dif­fer­ent in­ci­dents. The com­plaints can be made by Bal­ti­more po­lice, the schools po­lice or cit­i­zens.

While there have been fewer such com­plaints, Depart­ment of Ju­ve­nile Ser­vices spokesman Jay Cleary said, the youths who are be­ing charged are be­ing charged with more of­fenses, “and those of­fenses ap­pear to be more se­ri­ous.”

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