Women and Public Safety


Overall, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) reports that Montgomery County has a very low rate of violent crime for a jurisdiction of our geographic size and population. MCPD responded to 233,065 calls for service in 2016, a slight decrease over the preceding year. Overall crime increased by 0.9 percent between 2016 and 2017, including an increase of 2.6 percent of serious crimes. Over this time period, MCPD statistics show a small drop in crimes against persons of -0.4 percent, a 2.7 percent increase in crimes against property, and a 4.6 percent increase in crimes against society (which includes drug-related offenses). Homicides increased from 16 in 2016 to 23 in 2017, of which 35 percent were domestic-related.
The Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention provides a historic database of serious violent and property crimes by County. This dataset provides an overview of how crime trends have changed over time, covering the years from 1975 to 2016. The chart below shows the data for Montgomery County. Viewers can also view the rate for the state by clicking on the "Yes" option under "Include State Average" (note that the Maryland state totals exclude the relatively small number of crimes reported by statewide agencies). Viewers can explore the rates for different crime categories by changing the selection on the right. Note that virtually all categories show a similar downward trajectory over the last decade, with the exception of rape due in part to the adoption of a new, broader definition adopted in 2015 by the FBI (data before 2015 is therefore not directly comparable to data from 2015 and onward). 
The data for Montgomery County shows that, on a per capita basis, serious crimes have fallen dramatically over the past two decades, with such crime incidences declining by a third between 1996 and 2006 and by over 40 percent over the last decade.  In fact, 2016 had the lowest level of per capita crime in the four decades covered by the data. In the past decade, only two years (2008 and 2014) saw an increase in the overall serious crime rate over the preceding year. 
At the state-level, law enforcement cleared an average of 24 percent of all crimes and 46 percent of Part I crime in 2016 (equal to the rates observed in the year prior). In Montgomery County, law enforcement cleared 27 percent of all crimes reported in 2016.
Crime by Police District

The chart below shows the per capita crime rates for serious ("Part I") crimes against person and property and for lesser Part II crimes for each of the six police districts in Montgomery County. 

Sex Offenses
MCPD statistics show a 28 percent increase in rape cases between 2016 and 2017, from 309 to 397, continuing an upward trend. MCPD attributes this increase in part to media coverage of high profile incidents, which has encouraged more victims to come forward and report. MCPD notes that a quarter (23 percent) of reported incidences in 2017 were reported over a year after the incident occurred -- demonstrating that victims of sex offenses struggle with the decision to report but that, in the MCPD's words, "victims increasingly are feeling they don't need to suffer in silence." In line with this observation, 41.4 percent of victims in 2017 reported the incident within 24 hours, up from 23 percent in 2016. 
Of note, 2016 MPCD statistics show that 97 percent of the victims of rape knew their attacker. The share of victims who choose not to cooperate during the investigation is increasing, with 30 percent of victims in 2016 declining to pursue the investigation.
At the state level, rape by force accounted for 91 percent of all rape incidences in 2016, with attempted rape accounting for the remainder. Of the 444 persons arrested for rape state-wide, 98 percent were male, 19 percent were juvenile, 53 percent were Black, and 44 percent were White (including Hispanic White). State-wide, four murders involved rape.
State-wide, among all crime categories, rape has the highest rate of being determined to be "unfounded" by police investigation, with 15 percent of reported rape crimes being classified as such versus an average of 1 percent for all crimes reported. Unfounded in this context means that the police did not find enough evidence for the state's attorney's office to prosecute. Recent state legislation is intended to lower this rate by removing a centuries-old requirement that rape victims demonstrate they tried to physically resist their assailants.
The chart below shows the number of rape cases reported by MCPD, with the 2015-2017 data points recorded in a darker color to indicate a change in definition; reporting on changes and trends over time is constrained by the fact that the official FBI classification for rape was broadened in 2015. As a result, data from years prior is not comparable to the statistics collected for 2015 and later. Analysis at the state level shows that this definition change resulted in a 60 percent increase in the number of crime incidences classified as rape. 
The chart  below shows a breakdown of rape cases in each of the six police districts adjusted for population. The distribution of rape cases has changed over time, with the share of cases reported in the Gaithersburg and Rockville police districts decreasing between 2006 and 2016 from a combined 47 percent to a combined 33 percent, while the share reported in Wheaton increased  from 18 percent to 24 percent and in Bethesda from 4 percent to 8 percent.
MCPD reported 353 fondling offenses (including forcible) in 2017, down 16 percent from 421 in 2016.
Human Trafficking
The County reported 13 human trafficking cases, all of which took the form of commercial sex acts. This is up from one incident reported in 2016. The state crime statistics also include information on crimes related to human trafficking, with 13 arrests for commercial sex acts (1 of whom was a woman) and 6 arrests for involuntary servitude (all male) in 2016. Note that this data does not provide a full picture of trafficking in the county, as it dies not include trafficking prosecutions or the numbers served by non-profits, health care providers, or other county agencies.

State-wide, women accounted for 25 percent of all arrests in 2016 and for a majority of arrests in only 3 of the 32 reporting categories: prostitution (60 percent), runaways (56 percent), and drunkenness (54 percent, based on only 13 total arrests). 

The largest single category for arrests of women in Maryland is larceny-theft (accounting for 16 percent), followed by assaults and drug abuse violations. For men, drug abuse violations ranks first, followed by assaults and driving under the influence.
Traffic Violations

Women accounted for less than a third (32 percent) of the traffic citations and warnings issued in 2017 (based on traffic stop data posted to data.montgomerycountymd.gov). In particular, women are far less likely than men to be cited for reckless driving (1,101 vs. 3,708) and impaired driving (1,586 vs. 5,347). While still accounting for a lower share than men, women are responsible for a relatively high share of citations for mobile phone use (43 percent) and for car driver charges related to pedestrians and bicycles (41 percent). Speeding, traffic sign, and driver license related citations account for the top 3 categories for both men and women. Across categories, women receive a warning rather than a citation in 60 percent of cases versus 52 percent of cases for men.

Incarcerated Women
Statistics from the State Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services show that the average daily population of the Montgomery County Correctional Facility was 563 in FY16, of which 51 (or 9 percent) were women. This is roughly on par with the statistics reported in FY2006 of an 8 percent share, equal to 57 female inmates. The average daily population of the Montgomery County Detention Center was 62 of which 4 (or 6 percent) were women, which is on par with the 6 percent share (or 10 female inmates) reported in FY2006. Montgomery County's Pre-Release and Entry Services had an average daily population of 130, of which 10 (or 8 percent) were women.

Domestic Violence

In Montgomery County, domestic violence-related crimes declined very slightly from 3,044 in 2015 to 3,040 in 2016 based on data reported by the State of Maryland. This is up from 2,203 in 2014 and 1,430 in 2013. In 2016, state law enforcement agencies reported 31,175 domestic violence incidences, up 2 percent from 30,524 in 2015. The number of arrests went down slightly from 11,775 to 11,541 between 2015 and 2016, with a slight increase in exceptional clearances (when conditions beyond the police’s control prevent an arrest of an identified perpetrator) from 8,318 to 8,860. Overall, 65 percent of all domestically related cases were cleared.
Note that domestic violence statistics are based on incidences reported as other crimes (such as assault) that involve related individuals. The vast majority of domestic violence cases take the form of Assault (84 percent), followed by Offenses Against Family & Children (4 percent) and Larceny Theft (2 percent). 
The types of relationships for which domestic violence incidences are reported expanded in 2013 to include non-cohabitant intimate partners, children, parents, siblings, and other relationships. As a result, data from the years before 2013 are not directly comparable to data collected on and after 2014. 
The chart below shows the total counts of domestic violence incidences for Montgomery County and, on the second tab, the State of Maryland.
The chart below shows the domestic violence incidences per 100,000 residents in 2016 for Montgomery County, the State of Maryland, and other large Maryland Counties for benchmarking purposes.
Domestic Violence by Relationship Type

Female cohabitants, female intimate partners, wives, and individuals with a child in common account for 52 percent of all domestic violence victims in the state of Maryland in 2016. Overall, 69 percent of the victims of domestic violence were women. The chart below shows the most common types of relationships recorded for domestic violence incidences (i.e. the relationship of the victim to the offender), based on state-wide data.

In 2016, 48 percent of domestic violence victims in the State of Maryland were Black, while 50 percent were White (including White Hispanic). Sixty percent of incidences occurred among residents that are living together, while in 28 percent of cases they did not (12 percent have an unknown type of cohabitation). Moreover, 42 percent of victims are between the age of 25 and 39, the most common age group. Alcohol is a known factor in 21 percent of incidences.
Domestic violence incidences peaked in the Summer (May-June) and in December. The weekend, particularly Sunday, sees the largest number of incidences. In terms of the time of day, 7-10pm sees the highest rates, peaking at 8pm.
Lives Lost to Domestic Violence
The state reported 65 domestic violence-related homicides, roughly equal to the numbers from 2014 and 2015. 407 domestic violence incidences involved rape, while 191 involved other sex offenses — both increases from 2015 (346 and 149 respectively). In addition, 281 assault incidences involved a fire-arm and 1,114 involved a knife, down from 2015 but up from years prior. Overall, 12 percent of domestic violence related assaults involved a weapon.
The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence also reports annually on the lives lost to domestic violence (using a somewhat different methodology from the state). In FY2017, the Network reported zero deaths due to domestic violence for Montgomery County. This compares to 6 deaths in FY2016 and 3 deaths in each of FY2013, FY2014, and FY2015.
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
In FY2017, the Sixth Circuit Court granted 276 temporary domestic violence protective orders in Montgomery County and denied 66; the Court issued 168 final domestic violence protective orders in Montgomery County and denied 276. Montgomery County accounted for over 20 percent of the state's domestic violence protective orders up to FY09, but this share has decreased over time. 2017 saw a particularly large spike in the increase in such protective orders in other Counties, bringing the county's share of the state total down to 8.8 percent of all the temporary domestic violence protective orders in the state and 10 percent of all final domestic violence protective orders. The two charts below track the number of protective orders granted over time, at the county and state level.
Domestic Violence Court Cases
The Sixth District Court, covering Montgomery County, filed 2,997 domestic violence cases (including child abuse, domestic violence, and vulnerable adult cases) in FY17, up from 2,709 in FY16 and 2,331 in FY15. Montgomery County accounted for 9.9 percent of the total in FY17, up slightly from 9.3 percent in FY15. The chart below shows the increase in domestic violence cases over time based on district court filings.
The chart below shows the dispositions for these cases in FY17 for both the county and the state.
Domestic Violence Services

The 12th annual National Census of Domestic Violence Services, conducted on September 13 in 2017, reports that domestic violence programs in Maryland (based on data from 21 of the 22 identified service providers) served 926 victims on that day, with 448 receiving emergency shelters or transitional housing and with 478 adults and children receiving non-residential assistance, such as counseling, legal advocacy, and children's support groups. On this same day, local and state domestic violence hotline staff answered 466, 19 calls per hour (down from 21 in the preceding year). Nationally, hotline staff receive 14 calls every minute. In addition, 81 residents attended one of the four prevention and education training sessions offered that day. The study reported that 126 victims in Maryland that day had unmet requests for services, ranging from housing to childcare to legal representation.

Women in Law Enforcement

Montgomery County ranks second among all Maryland counties for the share of its law enforcement employees who are women. 29 percent of Montgomery County law enforcement employees are women. Within Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Police Department leads the way with a 31 percent share. Note that these figures include both civilian and sworn law enforcement employees.

Women in the Judiciary

Montgomery County has 37 judges in the Maryland circuit and district courts, 17 (or 46 percent) of whom are women. Women make up a majority (54 percent) of the Montgomery County judges in the Maryland District Court (6th District), doubling the rate from 2006.  Women also make up a majority of the judges on the Maryland Court of Appeals (57 percent), a significant improvement from 2006 when women accounted for only 28 percent. Women make up a much smaller share of on the Maryland Special Court of Appeals (27 percent, similar to the share in 2006) as well as the US District Court of Maryland (31 percent -- albeit an increase from 25 percent in 2006).