Criminal Offenses Down, Homicides Up in Fairfax County

A report released Friday shows a downward trend last year for criminal offenses in Fairfax County.

However, the report, which compared 2012 numbers with 2011, showed a disturbing growing trend in violent crimes, including homicides (rising 33 percent), kidnapping/abduction cases (rising 11 percent) and forcible sex offenses (rising almost 2.5 percent).

"Things like that are more important to me especially being like a girl,"  Fairfax County resident Sonia said. "In general, I feel safer here than any other county, but to see those rates, numbers go up... that's scary."

Fairfax County police addressed the specific increases, including the homicides, which they characterize as mostly domestic.

"These are people who know one another or they have relationships already established and for whatever reason, there typically is some type of altercation resulting in a death," police spokesperson Lucy Caldwell said. "We have detectives and people who are devoted doing nothing but working with family members, working with victims and trying to assist them with the process of taking care of problems before they become too large."

In the coming months, police plan to roll out an updated version of their crime-mapping tool. It will allow residents to view where a crime occurred almost as soon as it's reported.

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