Uptick in Robbery, Burglary Could Be Result of Inflation

On Thursday, Aug. 4, the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Police Department hosted its monthly community relations meeting remotely on Zoom. The meeting is an opportunity for residents to ask questions of local law enforcement.

Attendees received year-to-date Part One crime statistics compiled by the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). Part One crimes include burglary, robbery, assault, larceny, auto theft, rape and homicide. They don’t include lesser offenses like vandalism, drug dealing or possession of firearms.

Part One crime is up just one percent across the city but up 22 percent in Jamaica Plain. All part one crimes except rape are up compared to 2021. There have been almost twice as many robberies (taking something by force or intimidation), and more than twice the number of residential burglaries.

The uptick in robberies and burglaries could indicate the desperation of individuals for whom making ends meet is increasingly difficult. With soaring gas prices and runaway inflation, covering basic needs can become nearly impossible for those already struggling financially. For more information on how inflation can impact crime rates, read the article “Will Higher Inflation Lead to a Spike in Crime?” by Brent Orrell on The Bulwark.

The U.S. Senate recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act. This $700 billion package aims to tackle inflation by lowering families’ energy and health care costs and bringing down the deficit. However, some skeptics wonder what impact it will have on rising inflation rates.

The police and community relations meeting is on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm on Zoom. The next meeting will be on Sept. 1 at meet.google.com/hgf-fdjq-cui or by dialing 617-675-4444 and entering the passcode 837 505 064 4015#.

BPD depends on residents to report crimes. A crime in progress can be reported to 911. Knowledge of a crime can be reported anonymously to 800-494-8477 or by texting “Tip” to 27463.

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