Analysis of Violent Crimes in Maryland

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Maryland is one of the states in the United States where the crime rate is highest despite the efforts of law enforcers to keep it down.  Baltimore, the biggest city in Maryland, has been experiencing a declining trend in violent crime since 1993 when it registered the highest number of crimes of 21,799 to 9,316 in 2010. This decline was significant falling from 3 percent to 1.6 percent. Although the crime rate had significantly decreased, it was still above the national average crime rate. The national crime rate maintained the declining rate as from 2011 to 2017 as per the FBI report however in Maryland the situation was different with a homicide rate increasing from 176 in 2011 to 344 in 2015. According to FBI “violent crimes include robbery with violence, rape, aggravated assault, murder and non-negligent manslaughter”(FBI). This paper will look into the analysis of violent crimes in Maryland State and their predisposing factors.

The city of Baltimore in Maryland is leading in the USA with the highest number of homicides, and according to the report by FBI, the city registered 342 homicides which represented a rate of 56 homicides crimes per 100 000 residence in 2017. Considering the city has only 615,000 citizens the per capita rate is alarming. In 2016 the number of violent crimes in the cities of Maryland State such as Towson, Columbia, and Baltimore was 28003 (The Economist). According to the Uniform Crime Report of 2016, the crime rate in 2015 was 2,866.6 per 100000 populations and decreased by 2 percent to 2801.3 in 2016. Out of these crimes violent crime was at the rate of 471.3 in 2015 and 482 in 2016 which indicates an increase of 1 percent as compared to the previous year (Maryland Law Enforcement Agency Uniform Crime Reports). The highest number of homicide to ever be recorded in Baltimore is 344 in 2015, and it reached this level partly due to the violent protest over the death of Freddie Gray that saw some protesters lose their lives. The report indicates that in Maryland property crimes that include arson, burglary, and motor vehicle theft are of a large volume, but they are declining. However, violent crimes such as Aggravated assault, robbery, forcible rape, and homicide are of low volume but have been on the rise since 2011 (FBI). 

The increased murder cases in Maryland and especially in the city of Baltimore have been enhanced due to some predisposing factors that these residences are exposed to in their lives. The high number of illegal guns, poverty, drug abuse, inadequate opportunities to the residents and unequal injustice are the factors that fuel violent crimes. Since the death of Freddie Gray that led to the eruption of massive protests in Maryland leading to the prosecution of six police officers who were found guilty and charged for the murder, police have adopted hands-off technique in dealing with crimes in the region. The increase in the crime incidences in the city of Baltimore has been propelled because the cops have stopped addressing the problem aggressively in the city's crime-ridden neighborhood that is characterized by poverty and drug trafficking. These neglected neighborhoods that suffer from generational poverty have become the breeding places for the criminal gangs that later come to terrorize the city's residents. Maryland has a long history of being a market for heroin, and in addition to this, there is a rise in the fallout of the epidemic of opioids (2016 UNIFORM CRIME REPORT).

The report by Federal Bureau of the Investigation (2016), indicates that there is instability in the police force which encourages missteps and scandals that has adversely affected the trust between the police and the residence of the neighborhoods of Baltimore city making them unwilling to cooperate with them. The illegal practices carried out by the police such as the use of excessive force has made it impossible for the city to implement reforms that can bring change and peace to the people of Maryland State. The factors that lead to the occurrence of violent crimes matters however what matters the most is the ability of the city managers to come up with a suitable response to the crimes. Maryland cities such as Baltimore suffer from a high rate of violent crime incidences because they have never been able to respond to these crimes in a better way (John). This scenario has been found to be as a result of persistent dysfunction in law enforcement and politics of the Baltimore city.

In the Uniform Crime Report, it was found out that in America the majority of the people who die as a result of violent crimes are the African-Americans even though they only make up 13 percent of the American population. The survey indicates that 52% of the victims of homicides are the blacks and from 1980 to 2013 the number of the blacks who had been murdered in the USA was 262,000. These figures represent a murder rate of 4.9 victims per 100 000 people as compared to 2.4 per 100 000 for non-black Americans which is way much high. The blacks are susceptible to murder because of a combination of factors that include epidemics of substance and drug abuse, family instability, poverty, bad policing and police brutality (2016 UNIFORM CRIME REPORT).  Unlike in the past where racial discrimination encouraged the killers of the black never to be caught, in the current world inadequate training, recruitment and resources make it impossible for the murders to be solved in these regions. In 2015 for instance, only 30 percent of the killings in Maryland was solved whereby the majority involved the blacks.

In Baltimore majority of people are unemployed and because of this most of the families are stuck in poverty and their children don't have access to quality education. Because of this poverty, 49 percent of these kids miss to go to school each day, and in the long run, only 4 percent manage to go up to college. As a result of this situation, the unemployed teenagers without proper education goes into drugs as well as start engaging in criminal activities and eventually join the criminal gangs (FB).


Criminal violence has been on the rise in Maryland State since 2011, and in 2015 the state registered the highest homicide cases due to the violent protest over the death of Freddie.  The increase in violent crime in Maryland State is influenced by poverty, drug abuse and bad policing and this has made it the most dangerous state to live in the USA. Similarly, the approach that the police have adopted of hands off in solving violent crimes has led to fewer arrests a situation that has led to more murder cases that goes unsolved.

Work Cited

FBI; "Violent Maryland's Violent Crime Rate In 2016:;"News Release; Sep 26, 2017; available at

FBI. 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. U.S. Department of Justice,

John A. Baltimore homicide rate is on a record high, deadlier than Detroit and Chicago. Associated Press., 2018.

Maryland Law Enforcement Agency Uniform Crime Reports. Maryland Crime Rates 1960 – 2016., 2017.

The Economist. An exceptionally murderous city, Crime, and despair in Baltimore. Baltimore, USA., 2017.


December 12, 2023

Crime Government


Law Enforcement

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