Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Reported crimes dropped 24% in Glover Park from 2019 to 2020, that is, unless New Year's Eve descends into madness and mayhem in the neighborhood - keep an eye on those rabble-rousers on Huidekoper Place... More or better policing? Maybe. The criminals gave up? Doubtful. The effects of Covid World? Bingo - people working from home, not going out to bars and restaurants and college students attending online translates into fewer opportunities for criminals and lower crime. See last year's report and graphs here for comparison.
Citizens reported a total of 115 crimes in Glover Park to the Second District Metropolitan Police Department (MPD-2D) in 2020 compared to 152 in 2019. The crime spree started out normally in January and February (see charts below) then dropped off a cliff in March and stayed low, except for the end-of-May riot effect that reached Glover Park, in which Pearson's Wine and Spirits and CVS Pharmacy were ransacked.
Frustratingly, car break-in's continue to be sky-high, coming in at 41 total, one more than last year's record, and due to the drop in other crimes, represented 36% of all crimes in Glover Park in 2020 - a significant rise in the percentage. On the other hand, general theft dropped precipitously, from 91 incidents in 2019 to 52 in 2020, a 43% drop. 'General theft' tends to take the form of shoplifting, pickpocketing and purse/wallet/bag snatching largely on the commercial strip at crowded shops, bars and restaurants. Obviously the crowds were not present this year so the criminals had fewer targets.
Watch these two videos of car thieves calmly and methodically canvassing a parking lot and an alley, checking each car door to see if it is unlocked. In both cases they found one. Both of these incidents were in Glover Park just recently! Lock your car, don't leave items visible, then likely they will pass you by.
Video 1: Glover Park parking lot theft
Video 2: Glover Park alley theft
This year there were no sexual assaults reported, and just two violent crimes involving weapons (equal to 2019), Robberies and burglaries were comparably low, except for the summer blip from the riots which resulted in a few more burglary reports. Interestingly, crime shifted away from the Wisconsin Avenue commercial strip. In a normal year Wisconsin Avenue accounts for greater than 50% of neighborhood crimes, yet this year that dropped to 43%, with the majority of the crime in the residential parts of the neighborhood.
So, is that the answer to reducing crime? Force people to stay home and close businesses and crime drops. Problem solved? It was widely reported that Mayor Bowser reduced the MPD budget for 2021 this summer, and that the DC Council reduced it further by $15 million despite her protest. Though, when you look into the details of the budget games - comparing budget vs. actual, shifting of line items to other departments, apples-to-apples it is rather difficult to quantify a reduction. Instead, the question becomes more general - is our police force in the Second District adequate to handle a return to normal life in Glover Park in 2021? You tell me...