2023 data shows rise in violent crime in Fairfax Co.

Violent crime increased this year in Fairfax County, Virginia, according to a newly released report.

The new report, released by Fairfax County Police in coordination with the Major Cities Chiefs Association, tracked violent crimes such as homicide, rape and robbery in 2023.

Fairfax County ranked seventh among 69 participating jurisdictions, reporting an 8.7% increase in violent crimes overall, and increases in the number of rapes and aggravated assaults. That increase is larger than similarly sized counties in our region like Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

Even so, county officials in the department say it’s important to look not at the overall percentages, but raw data when assessing community safety.

“Instead of misleading percentages that lack (the) context of overall crime in a jurisdiction, the actual raw numbers of crime occurrences are depicted,” the department said in a press release.

Fairfax County police also said the department was proud to “affirm that Fairfax County retains its distinction as the safest jurisdiction of its size.”

“In the MCCA’s evaluation of violent crime ratings among all participating agencies, Fairfax County stands as an example of safety and security for its residents,” the department said.

While this increase is among the highest in the country, the comparison does not include the District, which saw the largest increase of any major city in the country at almost 40%.

The department also highlighted a successful reduction of carjackings, saying that as of September, there was no change in the number of carjacking incidents. Auto thefts were also “relatively flat” according to the report, while crashes and deadly accidents fell year over year.

“The overarching theme of this report is clear—we remain the safest large jurisdiction in America. The FCPD’s data-informed enforcement strategies have contributed to a lower violent crime rate, emphasizing the department’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of its residents,” the department said.

Challenges continue for the county

WTOP has reported an increase in shoplifting and assaults in Fairfax County this year, with hundreds more incidents in the first half of 2023 than in the year prior.

Fairfax County police have said the majority of assaults seen year over year are “simple assaults” and usually are “domestic in nature or involve parties known to each other.”

The other assaults reported in the county involve the department’s members themselves.

Police in the county report 353 cases of officers being assaulted, significantly more than the 248 cases reported through the same time in 2022. The department’s solution: increased criminal charges.

“As of September 2023, the FCPD has worked hard to combat this issue by placing over 25,000 criminal charges on over 17,500 individuals responsible for crimes in Fairfax County,” the department said.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

Cheyenne Corin

Cheyenne Corin joined the WTOP News team in February 2023. Prior to this role she was a Montgomery County, Maryland, bureau reporter at WDVM/DC News Now.

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