OCEAN CITY – While the month of September reflected numerous increases in categories of crime, the overall crime rate in Ocean City remains down from 2013.
According to the report, September’s total calls for service, including traffic stops, business checks and assistance to citizens, totaled 9,140, which is a 1-percent decrease from September 2013 when there were 9,232 calls for service. Out of that total, 6,869 were officer initiated, which is a 3.6-percent decrease from September 2013, and 2,271 were citizen initiated, which is a 7.8-percent increase from September 2013.
The total number of calls for service, excluding traffic stops, business checks and assisting citizens, totaled 4,856, which is a 6.4-percent increase from September 2013 when there were 4,566 calls for service. Out of the total, 2,723 were officer initiated, which is a 5.9-percent increase from September 2013, and 2,133 were citizen initiated, which is a 6.9-percent increase from September 2013.
Out of the top 25 calls for service, the majority of the categories increased starting with disorderly conduct with 480 calls in September this year compared to 415 last year; 911 hang up calls increased to 343 compared to 273 last year; assist to OC EMS increased to 215 this year compared to 165 last year; suspicious person or activity increased to 196 from 187 last year; collisions increased to 171 from 159 last year; parking complaints/violations increased to 141 from 86 last year; theft already occurred increased to 115 from 110 last year; alcohol violations increased to 105 from 95 last year; domestic assault/dispute increased to 83 from 75 last year; assist to the Fire Company increased to 62 from 57 last year; trespassing increased to 61 from 42 last year; malicious destruction of property increased to 42 from 34 last year; tow impound by the police increased to 23 from 14 last year; and sex offense and indecent exposure increased to 11 from 10 last year.
The categories decreasing in the month of September start with assist to citizens declining from 381 in September of 2013 to 379 this year; assist to motorists decreased from 176 last year to 150 this year; city ordinance violations decreased from 277 last year to 146 this year; civil dispute decreased from 57 last year to 54 this year; CDS violations decreased from 73 last year to 52 this year; noise complaint/violation decreased from 90 last year to 48 this year; warrant attempt or arrest decreased from 52 last year to 42 this year; DWI investigate and/or arrest decreased from 53 last year to 32 this year; assault already occurred decreased from 36 last year to 27 this year; breaking and entering decreased from 21 last year to 11 this year; and report of a fight decreased from 12 last year to 6 this year.
There were 226 arrests made in September and 46 criminal citations issued. There were 34 drug arrests made and 35 drug citations. There were 37 DUI arrests made and 13 weapon arrests, according to OCPD data.
Increases in crime during the month of September can be related to a large event that takes place in the Ocean City area at the end of September, H20 International (H20i), which is a VW/Audi rally that attracts thousands of vehicles to the town each year.
According to OCPD data, there were a total of 2,148 calls for service during the four-day period related to the event, compared to 2,003 calls for service during that time period last year. Those calls for service do not include business checks, residential checks, and city-owned property checks.
There were a total of 495 calls for service regarding public and disorderly and criminal actions. The category topping the chart is 253 calls for disorderly conduct, followed by 61 alcohol citations and 61 collisions.
Throughout the four-day stretch, there was a total of 51 arrests made that include three drug arrests, five DUI arrests and three weapon arrests.
Nine months into the year, a weekly breakdown reflects a 2-percent decrease in total crime this year compared to last year.
Under Part 1 Crimes, there has been one homicide compared to one this time last year; no shootings compared to one this time last year; 22 forcible rapes in 2013 compared to 20 this year; 18 robberies in 2013 compared to 17 this year; 38 aggravated assaults in 2013 compared to 53 this year; 203 burglaries in 2013 compared to 272 this year; 919 larcenies in 2013 compared to 848 this year; 29 auto thefts in 2013 compared to 35 this year; and there were no cases of arson in both 2013 and so far this year.
There have been 653 common assaults so far this year compared to 716 this time last year and 58 minor sex offenses so far this year compared to 55 last year, resulting in an overall total of 1,959 crimes at the end of September this year compared to 1,999 at the end of September in 2013.
For comparison, the daily average population estimates in Ocean City in September produced by Demoflush was 163,365 this year compared to 167,640 last September, which is a 2.5-percent decrease.