On Thursday, October 3, 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 don’t 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, shoplifting or pick-pocketing.
According to Officer Jones’s chart, so far in 2019 there were 709 reported Part One crimes in Jamaica Plain, down from 757 this time last year, a 6% decrease. Crimes that have seen an uptick in 2019 include rape and attempted, non-domestic aggravated assault and residential burglary. Crimes that have seen a decrease so far in 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018 include robbery and attempted, domestic aggravated assault, commercial and other burglary, all larceny and auto theft. The homicide rate is the same.
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 September saw 11 burglaries (up from 9 in August), eight robberies (up from one in August), 18 aggravated assaults (up from 12 in August), six motor vehicle theft (down from seven in August), 41 larcenies (up from 38 in August). There were no reported incidents of rape, murder, kidnapping or arson in September.
On his handouts, Officer Jones writes notes next to the major incidents, adding more context and detail than is available online. For example, we know that a minor child was assaulted at 1:30pm on September 17 at 20 Child Street.
The victim, a student at Mission Hill School in JP, was intentionally exposed to tree nuts by a fellow student. This constituted an assault because the victim is allergic to tree nuts. The school was notified of the incident.
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, November 7. A Spanish language version of this meeting is also held on the second Thursday of every month at 6:30pm at 155 Lamartine Street. These meetings are open to the public and all interested residents are encouraged to attend.