Area A-1 Sees Slight Year-To-Date Reduction in Crimes

By Dan Murphy

Area A-1 has seen a 3-percent drop in violent and property crimes this year from 2015.

According to Boston Police, 1,278 Part One crimes were reported in the district, which includes Beacon Hill, Chinatown and downtown, between Jan. 1 and July 17, 2016, as opposed to 1,320 incidents during the same timeframe in 2015.

No murders have been reported this year, compared with one in 2015.

In contrast, rapes and attempted rapes more than doubled as the number climbed to 15 from seven last year.

Robberies and attempted robberies were down slightly, with 91 incidents this year, compared with 93 in 2015.

The number of domestic aggravated assaults remained steady, with 13 incidents reported both this year and last, while non-domestic aggravated assaults were up approximately 18 percent as the number climbed to 132 from 112 in 2015.

As in Boston, Captain Kenneth Fong of Boston Police Area A-1 said non-domestic aggravated assaults were on the rise nationwide.

Meanwhile, commercial burglaries dropped around 16 percent, with 31 incidents in 2016, compared to 37 last year.

Residential burglaries were down nearly 53 percent as the number of incidents dropped to 19 from 40 in 2015.

In contrast, six other burglaries were reported in 2016 as opposed to none last year.

The number of larcenies from motor vehicles dropped slightly more than 7 percent as the number dropped to 183 from 197 in 2015.

Other larcenies were also down slightly, with 753 incidents tin 2016, compared to 765 last year.

Auto thefts saw a 36-perecnt decline as the number of incidents dropped to 35 from 55 in 2015.

Fong said the area around Cambridge Street on Beacon Hill has seen a spike in homeless complaints in recent months, which he attributed to the warm weather.

Fong said many homeless from other parts of the state settle in Boston to gain access to shelters and other services, and that the number of younger homeless people is on the rise as able-bodied individuals choose to drop out of society.

Between Aug. 23 and 25, the city will conduct a census of the homeless, Fong said.

Also, Fong said the Boston Police would launch a six-month pilot for body cameras on Sept. 1 that would equip 100 officers with the devices.

“There’s a study that goes along worth it to see how much bang we can get for the buck…and see if the money could be better spent somewhere else,” Fong said.

            Kate Bell, the neighborhood liaison for City Councilor Josh Zakim, urges residents to let the councilor know their personal observations of interactions between officers and citizens once the program gets underway.

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