Elrich: “We face the rise in violence in Silver Spring”
Violent crime, including murder, carjacking, and aggravated assault, increased in Silver Spring in 2021. There were 32 murders this year, up from 17 in 2020, according to Montgomery County Police Department.
The number of serious assaults rose by 159, from 805 in 2020 to currently 964. The number of non-fatal physical injuries also increased from 28 in 2020 to 49 this year.
Homicides and grievous bodily harm are counted by the number of victims, not incidents. These statistics do not include the homicides identified by the police as justified.
The number of car thefts has doubled from 30 to 60 this year. Car thefts also increased. In 2020 it was 1,120 compared to 1,373 this year.
Commercial robberies have decreased from 96 in 2020 to 74 this year. There was also a slight decline in non-commercial robberies, which rose from 326 in 2020 to 304 this year. Commercial burglaries also fell from 484 to 366 last year. Home break-ins decreased from 767 in 2020 to 691 this year.
A burglary is illegal entry into a house or building. A robbery is the theft of someone’s property.
These Montgomery County Police Department statistics do not include data on Takoma Park. They cover January 1st to December 28th for 2020 and 2021.
The most recent violent incident was a fatal police shootout in the early hours of December 29th at the junction of Avenues Wayne and Dartmouth.
When the police responded to a call about a shooting, the person shot described the vehicle with which the shooter escaped, according to District Administrator Marc Elrich. The police found the car nearby and stopped it. At this point, according to Elrich, at least one of the inmates got out and started shooting at the officers.
The officers returned fire and killed the man. The investigation was submitted to the Maryland Office of the Independent Investigation Division of the Attorney General as required by law. This office is expected to release any body cam footage from the incident.
“We are addressing the rise in violence in Silver Spring,” said Elrich on Wednesday.
Montgomery County officials have met with local residents, business owners and buyers to discuss the issue, he said. He intends to submit a funding request to the county council soon that will, among other things, enable the county to collect better data for greater accountability, he said.
Elrich said there are several reasons that Silver Spring is higher in crime than other areas of the county.
Silver Spring has “very fluid boundaries” and borders three different jurisdictions, Elrich said. It’s not uncommon for people to leave the district when the bars close and come to Silver Spring.
He said he intended to contact state officials to learn how earlier closing times could be enforced.
Additionally, Elrich said, Silver Spring is a vast geographic area that includes Burtonsville, Wheaton, and many other smaller parishes. Any crime in these areas “becomes Silver Spring history.”
Another possible reason for the high crime rate in Silver Spring is that it is more urbanized than the rest of the county, with more activities and more nightlife, Elrich said.
“Of course, Montgomery County is not immune to the rise in crime,” said Elrich. “We will do everything we can to ensure that all communities are safe.”