More than $52 dollars for each man, woman and child in Northern Virginia is spent each year to fight crime, according to the most complete study ever made of the region's criminal justice system.
The report, prepared by the Public Safety Division of the Northern Virginia Planning District Commission (NVPDC), also found that:
Juveniles aged 10 to 17 committed 37 per cent of the serious crime in the area last year although they make up only 17 per cent of the population.
Only 16 per cent of all serious crimes were solved in 1975 and only 13 per cent in 1976. Most of the study's crime statistics are for 1975.
Only 25 per cent of $16 million in property stolen in 1975 was recovered.
Parole and probation workers are so poorly paid that in one recent year, four out of every 10 resigned, mostly to take better paying jobs in other jurisdictions. A person with a masters degree can anticipate a top salary of only $12,528, reached after four years.
Ninety-five per cent of the crime in the region was against property with burglaries rising almost fivefold between 1970 and 1975.
Records kept by area commonwealth attorneys (prosecutors) are so haphazard that conviction rates and workloads cannot be determined.
The report, the Northern Virginia Regional Criminal Justice Plan for 1977, brings together and analyzes the largest mass of data on crime and justice ever developed for this region.
It is the eighth annual plan drafted by the NVPDC to meet requirements of the Virginia Division of Justice and Crime Prevention for obtaining funds from the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.The jurisdictions included in the study are Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties, Alexandria, Manassas Park, Vienna, Herndon and Leesburg.
The report found that regionally $37.66 was spent per capita on law enforcement; $4.78 on jails and sheriffs; $4.89 on courts and prosecution; $2.90 on juvenile court; 20 cents on planning, and $2 on other uses for a total of $52.43.
The cost of law enforcement alone ranged from a per capita level of $80.76 in Falls Church to $32.02 in Fairfax County to $13.36 in Loudoun County.
LEAA money for a "war on crime" has been concentrated on police with a result of "dramatic changes in the workload and responsibilities of the other parts of the system without corresponding increases in staff or budgets," accordin to the report, developed by criminal justice planner Susan Mull.
This resulted in part because "of the historic absence of considering this a 'system,' but rather as independent agencies somehow not striving for the same goal. One method of beginning to view the criminal justice agencies as a whole could be through the presentation of their budgets as a unit," the report said.
A study of the impact of raising expenditures for law enforcement without increases for courts, detention systems and prosecutors should be undertaken, it concluded.
The report pointed out that crime statistics can vary widely in accuracy with underreporting of rape as high as 75 per cent while insurance-protected crimes like auto theft and burglary are fully reported.
Serious crime increased 4.47 per cent of Northern Virginia in 1975 while it rose 11 per cent for the entire Washington metropolitan area and 8 per cent in the Maryland suburbs, the report said.
Maryland suburbs, with 41 per cent of the population, had 39 per cent of the crimes - 33,164; the District, with 24 per cent of the population, had 30 per cent of the crimes - 25,600; and the Virginia suburbs, with 35 per cent of the population had 31 per cent - 26,434.
The rate of solved crimes ranged from a low of 11 per cent in Fairfax City to a high of 34 per cent in tiny Manassas Park. In the area, 88 per cent of murders were solved but only 8 per cent of larcenies and 16 per cent of burglaries.
The study found that Leesburg led in recovering stolen property with a recovery rate of 45 per cent while Fairfax County recovered only 18 per cent of stolen property and Falls Church only 14 per cent. Regionally more than 80 per cent of recovered property were automobiles so the recovery rate for other property was quite low.
Statistics for 1976, sill unpublished, show that juveniles committed 37 per cent of all crimes, 31 per cent of burglaries and 22 per cent of larcenies as measured by arrests.
The full extent of juvenile involvement in crime is unkown since youths are often released or booked on less serious charges than adults would be for the same crime, according to the report.