Maryland residents express higher levels of concern about safety and more personal experience with both violent and property crime. But its safest cities boast crime rates that are below both state and national levels.
Maryland reported a 371% increase in experience with property crime year over year.
Despite high reports of personal experience with violent crime (18% versus 12% nationally) and property crime (33% versus 26% nationally), Maine’s overall crime rates aren’t uncommonly high. In fact, the state’s property crime rate of 20.3 is lower than the national rate of 22.0.
Violent crime is a bit more prevalent, though, occurring at a rate of 4.7 incidents per 1,000, versus the national rate of 3.7.
Violent Crime in Maryland: Fear vs. Reality
In the Old Line State, being robbed on the street is the violent crime that causes the most concern. It’s also the crime respondents feel is most likely to actually happen.
57% reported high concern about being robbed on the street, compared to 38% across the country.
47% said they think being robbed on the street is the crime most likely to occur. That’s 20 points higher than the national average of 27%.
Robbery was the second most common violent crime reported, accounting for 28% of the violent crime in the safest cities and 34% across the state.
The most prevalent violent crime was aggravated assault, comprising 65% of the violent crime reported among the safest cities and 57% across the state.
Being the victim of a mass shooting is the second most worrisome crime in Maryland. 53% are worried about it on a daily basis, versus 38% nationwide.
As of July 15, there have been 10 mass shooting incidents in Maryland in 2020, leaving six dead and 40 injured. One was killed and three injured in a May incident in District Heights, which ranks as the eighth safest city in the state.
2019 saw 21 mass shooting incidents in Maryland, primarily in Baltimore. Those shootings resulted in 12 deaths and 85 injured.
Property Crime in Maryland: Fear vs. Reality
Someone breaking in when the residents are at home is the top property crime concern in Maryland, but they think it’s more likely that someone would break in when no one’s at home.
65% of respondents expressed the highest concern about a break-in when the occupants are at home. That’s seven points higher than the national average of 58%.
47% felt that the property crime that’s most likely to occur is a break-in when there’s nobody at home. The national average is 38%.
Burglary made up just 12% of all property crime reported by the safest cities and 15% of all property crime statewide.
33% of Maryland respondents have a home security system—that’s nine points higher than the national average of 24%.
A dog or other guard animal is the most widely-used security measure in the Old Line State, with 32% claiming it, compared to 33% nationwide.
35% don’t use any form of security to protect their property, versus 29% nationally.
A Closer Look at Maryland’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
Taneytown moved up one spot from last year’s ranking to become the safest city in Maryland, with no counts of violent crime reported.
Only one city dropped in rank year over year–Bowie moved down from six to nine this year.
60% of the cities in the top 10 improved in rank year over year, with District Heights making the biggest leap—jumping 11 spots to become the eighth safest city.
Maryland has a higher violent crime rate (4.7) than the national average (3.7), but the safest cities are well below—90% kept violent crime down to fewer than 2.0 incidents per 1,000.
SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more