Three key categories of crime are at their lowest rate in more than nine years, according to the Howard County Police Department (HCPD).
The department released a statement Friday saying robberies are at their lowest rate since 2002, while burglaries and auto thefts are at the lowest rate in the county since 1999. Overall crime and violent crime rates are also below statewide rates.
"These numbers show that Howard County is one of the safest areas to live, work and visit," HCPD Chief William McMahon said in the statement. "Our efforts have included and...identifying emerging crime patterns and repeat offenders."
However, the department's numbers show aggravated assaults grew by 14 percent from 2010 to 2011 and arrests from aggravated assaults increased by 23 percent. Four homicides occurred in the county for the second year in a row.
Violent crimes in Howard County occurred 204 times per 100,000 people while the state rate is 547. The department also noted that crash fatalities decreased from 15 to 13.