On Thursday, June 6, Curtis Hall in Jamaica Plain hosted the monthly police and community relations meeting organized by District E-13 of the Boston Police Department (BPD).
Every month, Officer William Jones from the Community Service Office and Captain John Greland update the community about local crime statistics from the previous month. They also take the opportunity to provide common sense advice for how to prevent crime in Jamaica Plain and to answer questions from community members. Also invited to these meetings are officials from MBTA’s Transit Police and Massachusetts State Police.
As usual, Officer Jones provided copies of a chart comparing the year-to-date Part One crime statistics from 2019 with those from 2018. Part One crimes are those that are more serious in nature, and do not include lesser crimes such as vandalism, drug dealing or possession of firearms.
In order to interpret the Part One crime statistics, it’s important to know the difference between robbery, burglary and larceny. Robbery is the taking of someone’s property directly from that person using intimidation or force. Burglary, also known as breaking and entering (or B&E in law enforcement shorthand), is unlawfully accessing a building with the intent to commit theft. Larceny deprives someone of their property but it doesn’t include force (like robbery) or breaking and entering (like burglary.) An example of larceny would be bike theft, stealing items out of a car or pick-pocketing.
According to Officer Jones’s chart, so far in 2019 there were 455 reported Part One crimes in Jamaica Plain, down from 530 this time last year, a 14% decrease. Crimes that saw an uptick in 2019 homicide, rape and attempted, and domestic and non-domestic aggravated assault. Crimes that have seen a decrease so far in 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018 included robbery and attempted, all burglary, motor vehicle larceny, other larceny and auto theft.
Officer Jones also provided a comprehensive list of the individual Part One crimes reported in the area the previous month, including the date, time and location of each incident.
According to this list, the month of June saw six burglaries (down from ten in May), two robberies (down from six in May), 16 aggravated assaults (13 in May), six motor vehicle theft (up from five in May), and 44 larcenies (down from 53 in May), one murder (up from zero in May). There were no reported incidents of rape or kidnapping in May.
On his handouts, Officer Jones wrote notes next to the major incidents, adding more context and detail than is available online. For example, we know that five of the larcenies were bike thefts.
Bicycle thefts generally rise in the summer months, when more people are cycling and leaving their bikes in various locations. On its website, the BPD lists ways to prevent your bike from being stolen.
Measures include using a U-lock rather than a cable or chain lock; always lock bikes even when running short errands; always lock the front wheel to the frame; don’t lock bike to a post that it can be lifted over; don’t park bike overnight in public; mark your bike with identifying information and take photos of it in case it is stolen.
If your bike is stolen, ask the BPD to check their warehouse for confiscated bikes, and look for it being sold on Craigslist or at a used bike shop.
The police and community relations meeting is on the first Thursday of every month at 6:30pm at Curtis Hall at 20 South Street. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, August 1. A Spanish language version of this meeting is also held on the second Thursday of every month at 6:30pm at 155 Lamartine Street. The next Spanish-language meeting is Thursday, August 8. These meetings are open to the public and all interested residents are encouraged to attend.