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Maryland violent crime rates still a concern

Experts in Baltimore are calling 2013 a "lost" year in the fight against violent crime, as statistics show that the metro area remains dangerous in many areas. In fact, 2014 will likely be a pivotal year for a variety of crime-prevention initiatives throughout the city. Officials say they are working to create strategic plans for fighting violent crime through the concerted efforts of law enforcement agencies. Baltimore authorities admit that they have not been providing adequate police representation in these Maryland communities, and they intend to step up enforcement in a variety of areas.

In all, gun violence has still shown a relative decrease, with 400 people suffering gunshot wounds during the 2013 calendar year. That is a significant improvement over 2007 numbers, which saw 651 injured from by guns. In fact, rates have not been this low since the 1980s, according to official reports.

Although this may seem promising, authorities say Baltimore is still lagging behind in crime prevention when compared to other well-known, dangerous metros. New Orleans numbers, for example, saw a 20 percent decrease in violent crimes involving the use of a weapon, with Oakland, California, demonstrating a 25 percent drop. Baltimore still ranks as a high-risk area, with almost as many weapons fatalities as those in New York City - that metro has 13 times as many people.

Residents say they expect law enforcement officers to work together with communities to build stronger prevention initiatives. Further, additional employment opportunities are blamed for much gun-related violence; simple economic shifts may cause a decrease in the rate of violent crime.

Those who are accused of committing violent crimes involving the use of a weapon are not automatically considered guilty just because they were arrested. Criminal defense attorneys in Maryland can help those defendants learn more about their legal rights, providing them with the courtroom options they need to maximize the outcome of their criminal cases.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "In Baltimore, 2013 a lost year for fight against violent crime" Justin Fenton, Dec. 29, 2013

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