District E-13 police talk August crime stats

On Thursday, Sept. 3, District E-13 of the Boston Police Department (BPD) hosted its monthly virtual police and community relations meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions of local law enforcement.

At every meeting, officers provide copies of local crime statistics. One chart examines Part One crime data for the previous month. Part One crimes are those that are more serious in nature, and don’t include lesser crimes such as vandalism, drug dealing or illegal possession of firearms.

According to the summary, Part One crime is down four percent in the city of Boston compared to this time last year. Jamaica Plain is beating the citywide reduction in Part One crime. So far this year, there have been 543 reported crimes, compared to 652 last year, a decrease of 17 percent.

“Our crime is still trending downward,” Officer William Jones told the Gazette. “If we continue, we could possibly have the best reduction in Part One crime in the last ten years.”

Crimes that saw a decrease so far this year include homicide, rape and attempted, non-domestic aggravated assault, residential and other burglary, other larceny and auto theft. Crimes that saw an uptick compared to 2019 include robbery and attempted, domestic aggravated assault, commercial burglary, and larceny from a motor vehicle.

“Some of the crimes could be possibly reflective of our societal dealings with COVID-19,” said Officer Jones.

The decrease in residential burglaries and larcenies could be because more people are at home than last year. The reduction in nondomestic assault is possibly due to social distancing measures that keep would-be rivals from encountering each other in public.

On the other hand, the spike in thefts from vehicles may be due to people not securing their vehicles when running quick errands around town. The rise in commercial burglaries could be because many places of business are closed. Finally, the increase in domestic assault could be linked to more couples in social isolation and dealing with economic pressures.

“More people are at home than before,” Officer Jones said. “People are stressed with job concerns.”

A second chart compared the statistics of fatal and nonfatal shootings from 2019 to 2020. Jamaica Plain saw 15 shootings so far this year, up from 14 in 2019. However, it accounted for just 7.6 percent of citywide shootings this year, down from 9.5 percent in 2019.

The police and community relations meeting is held on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 4. To join the meeting, go to meet.google.com and enter the meeting code hgf-fdjq-cui. You can also join the meeting by phone by dialing 1-720-507-3856 and entering the code 724 468 894 followed by the pound or hashtag sign.

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