Crime in Glover Park surged 24% in 2023 compared to 2022, and this time the increase was not due to car break-ins, though that crime does remain elevated and persistent. The hope that this corner of the city might be more insulated from the crime wave did not come to pass, as neighborhood crime roughly paced the 26% increase in city-wide crime. The saying, “a rising tide floats all boats” seems to apply to crime in DC as well and no area of the city has been immune. The 189 crimes (up from 153 in 2022) reported in Glover Park amounts to about 1 every other day on average. See all graphs down below.
Crime stats here cover all of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B, which includes parts of Cathedral Heights after the redistricting of ANC’s last year. While thefts from cars dropped a bit from the record high of last year, it still remains near all-time highs in Glover Park at 61 incidents, or more than one a week. More disturbingly, violent crimes – defined by the Metro Police Department as robbery, assault, sex abuse and homicide – surged 150% in Glover Park. Burglary on the other hand includes breaking and entering without an assault on a person and is categorized as non-violent. Granted the violent crimes are small in absolute numbers – rising from 4 to 10, but the multiple armed robberies and aggression towards people (rather than targeting things) is unsettling.
One might assume, based on media reporting, that the crime wave primarily is against businesses with shoplifting and organized mass lootings commonplace now, but the graph below show that the majority of the crimes (57%) occurred in the neighborhood away from the commercial strips. ANC3B now has two commercial strips after redistricting – the 2100-2600 blocks of Wisconsin Avenue, and the 3200-3400 blocks of New Mexico Avenue, which includes Ace Beverage, Starbucks, Walgreens, Wagshal’s, Chef Geoff’s and a couple of office buildings and garages that have attracted some crime recently.
While thefts of cars has hit a new high of 17, these are unoccupied thefts not carjackings, but carjacking has risen by 142% in our Police Service Area 2D. At least one attempted carjacking in Glover Park went unreported while one was reported on 42nd Street. MPD states that 77% of carjackings in DC involve a gun. MPD maintains a fun and handy “Carjacking Dashboard” to keep track of this disastrous situation. The average age of a DC carjacker is 15-16 – yikes.
General (non-auto) theft has become the majority of the crime in Glover Park now (52%). This includes: shoplifting, looting, purse/wallet snatching, bike thefts, theft of belongings from around houses and apartments (such as delivered packages), skipping out on tabs such as rideshare fares or restaurants – most of which are considered misdemeanors rather than felonies for values under $1,000.
The picture for DC as a whole is more frightening, with homicides up 34%, car thefts 82%, robberies 68% and carjackings 98%. Will someone please turn on the bat signal already? Bruce Wayne does live in NW DC (on 16th Street, not kidding) but he is 74 years old now, so maybe batwoman or Robin? Here’s a little fun DC crime trivia: what is the specific area of the highest concentration of crimes in DC in 2023? It’s not what you might think and it’s not far away from Glover Park – it is the U Street neighborhood, bounded by 16th Street, 10th Street, S Street and W Street, about a four-block square area of crime-infested streets.
The outlook for 2024 does not seem promising. Mayor Bowser promised to add 347 officers, but the 2024 budget done in the spring of 2023 forecasted that the city would lose 132 officers (or FTE’s) instead, due to attrition and the difficulty in hiring despite a $25K bonus and $6K in rental assistance promised. In addition, reported crime stats significantly fall short of actual crimes. Many crimes are not reported, or do not make it into a crime report even if it is called in, which means it does not show up in crime stats. The police are stretched thin and they are reluctant to do paperwork on lesser crimes when they are dealing with homicides and carjackings. I have tried to interpret “incident reports” as a proxy but the data is bad and impossible to use. Anecdotally, based on conversations with many over the years, it is possible actual crimes are anywhere from 25-50% higher than what gets into the statistics, but admittedly this is not based on any data I can find.