BALTIMORE COUNTY — Despite lack of transparency and no ease of access to a full countywide arrest blotter, the Baltimore County Police Department reports decreases in both property and violent crime.

The department reported this month that it has completed its year-end crime report for 2018. “The Department’s efforts in working with citizens, County agencies, and law enforcement partners has once again yielded an overall decrease in crime,” a statement from the department read.

Notably, in a year-over-year comparison of 2018 to 2017, violent crimes decreased by a reported 4.5 percent, and property crimes decreased by a significant 8.6 percent.

Total crime reported a 4.5 percent decrease.

Baltimore County saw an increase of 7.1 percent in the number of reported rapes in 2018, but opines that this could be due in part to a legislative change in Maryland’s definition of rape. A shift in the stigma surrounding a culture of reporting could also be a partial reason, although any rise in reported rapes is a significant public health and safety concern.

“A reduction in crime is a direct result of a positive relationship with our community and the hard work performed every day by the men and women of the Police Department,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.

“Driving crime down is an important way we strengthen our communities. In Baltimore County, we once again saw an overall reduction in crime, including a 4.5% decrease in violent crime,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr.

“I commend our police department for working alongside committed community members to continue driving down crime, ensuring Baltimore County remains a great and safe place to live, work, and play.”