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Just how bad is Boston's crime problem?

I've often cited Boston's problem with violent crime, and criticized (OK, "mocked" might be a fairer description) their efforts to bring it under control. But just how bad is the situation?

Last Sunday, the Boston Herald ran the numbers, and it's pretty horrific.

Last year, there were 290 people shot in Boston -- about a quarter of them fatally. And in those 290 cases, police have made exactl y 8 arrests. (Although that's not as bad as it might seem at first -- one of those arrested was charged in 2 shootings, so 9 shootings have been accounted for.) In 281 cases, police have no answer for who shot somebody. That's a 97% failure rate.

Once again, I see that if I ever feel the need to just randomly shoot someone (which would involve getting a gun, ammunition, and (shudder) venturing into Massachusetts), I ought to do it on the streets of Boston. The odds of getting away with it are definitely in my favor.

Especially since Duh Mayor is more concerned with stamping gun serial numbers on shell casings and other frivolous distractions instead of the time-proven solutions: more cops on the street, walking the beat, and REAL penalties for violent crime.

Comments (11)

As you describe it, Boston ... (Below threshold)

As you describe it, Boston seems downright safe.

Prince George's County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, had a record 173 murders last year. Over 2/3 were shootings, the rest were more or less evenly divided between stabbing and beatings.

Quite a few were gang (MS-13) related and/or involved illegal aliens as perp and/or vic.

EVERY state and county elected official from the county is a Democrat. There are NO Republica. They ALL oppose capital punishment, they all oppose enforcement of the immigration laws, and they all seem to support pending legislation to give felons the right to vote.

The local Democratic Party seems to blame Pres. Bush and calls itself "The Party of the American Dream." "American Nightmare" would be more apt.

Oh, and the current Black County Executive made his reputation as state's attorney prosecuting police and making deals for short sentences for killers.

Although the upwardly mobile, well off Blacks in the county bitch and moan about the crime and the crappy schools, I figure they have just what they voted for.

The "no snitching" crap isn... (Below threshold)

The "no snitching" crap isn't helping, either.

If Duh Mayor was serious ab... (Below threshold)

If Duh Mayor was serious about the problem, I have two suggestions:
1. The article says: "'We need detectives, that's the bottom line. That's who investigates shootings. Without detectives, you are not going to have solved cases,' said Bob Kenney, president of the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society."
It could be that we need more detectives.

2. The article seems to name several examples of crimes that happened outside. I'd be curious to know what percentage took place outside. In Europe and Great Britain they put TV cameras on public streets to at least gather evidence when crimes are committed.

Overall, Boston is a very safe large city. You can walk around very well almost everywhere and feel quite safe.

"We need detectives, that's... (Below threshold)

"We need detectives, that's the bottom line."

Detectives are great for investigating crimes AFTER they happen. Little comfort to the family of the guy getting buried, or the woman in the hospital recovering from her beating.

Even if the detectives DO make an arrest, what good is it if some judge decides tro feel sorry for the poor, oppressed little crackhead and set him free, on a promise that he'll behave?

They also complain about the silence of the community and people's reluctance to come forward.

Who can blame these people for choosing to keep their mouths shut?

If you're a single mom trying to raise three kids in a poor Boston neighborhood. Are you going to go out of your way to rat out the armed drug dealers living in the apartment across the hall?

Boston Logic

1. The citizens of Boston don't need to own firearms. The police will be there to protect them.

2. The police can't protect the citizenry from the criminals unless they tell the police who the criminals are.

3. The criminals are known to target people who cooperate with the police.

4. Some of those citizens who can afford it have asked for permission from the police to arm themselves from the violent criminals in their neighborhoods.

5. See step #1.

Welcome to Boston

How about letting the peopl... (Below threshold)

How about letting the people arm themselves instead of controlling the guns. It's been tried quite successfully elsewhere.

Jay says:"More cop... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

Jay says:

"More cops on the street, walking the beat."

Well, there you go trying to raise the tax rate again. Damn you, Jay. And they already call it "Taxachussetts."

Didn't the real Denny Crane actually shoot somebody in an episode? Like Denny Crane, every law abiding citizen should pack heat in Mass.

Ok, I'm kidding--the real me doesn't even own a gun. Oh, well there's still that old shotgun at the ex-wife's house. Hmmm.

Not to pick on your title J... (Below threshold)

Not to pick on your title Jay but Boston doesn't have a "crime problem."

~75 homicides in a town of ~600,000 probably won't get you in the top 20 of the "murder capital of the year" contest. It's actually kinda low for a big city.

But if they only have arrests in 3% of the cases, they don't have a "crime problem" they have a "police problem."

Just picking dits and splitting hairs....

For its size, Boston actual... (Below threshold)
Indy Voter:

For its size, Boston actually has a very low amount of murders, and has for decades. Roughly 75 murders in a year? That total is tiny next to the death toll in Washington DC or Albuquerque, two other cities of about the same population as Boston. I suspect if you did a survey of all US cities with populations in the 400,000 - 600,000 range Boston's murder totals would be at or near the bottom.

Sounds like it's time for a... (Below threshold)

Sounds like it's time for a little concealed carry in Massachusetts. That followed by an effective 3 strikes law. Solved the problem in Florida.

Or perhaps Boston's problem... (Below threshold)

Or perhaps Boston's problem is not so much the cops as the DA and the DA's relationship to the cops and to the community. And THAT falls directly on the head of Mumbles and the rest of the Party Hierarchy.

Compare and contrast two cities of relatively similar size on the west coast - San Francisco and San Jose. SFO is constantly getting rapped for having a high crime rate, but most of its problem is the fact that the beat cops and the SFO County DA do not see eye-to-eye on anything. Thus, crimes "solved" in SFO almost never get prosecuted - charges are dismissed for "insufficient evidence" or some such; when they are tried, the juries will frequently "nullify" the charges as a means of sticking it to The Man.

Meanwhile, San Jose has about a 10% larger population, but less than one-tenth of the violent crime. Granted, SJO has a much better economy and is not so much a destination city for the transients, but there is a reason - the cops and the Santa Clara County DA actually get along and work together, as a team. Because of that, it's known that SJO isn't a town in which you can get away with a lot. And Santa Clara County juries don't screw around - they found for death on three of the most high-profile cases in the last decade: Stephen Stayner (Yosemite tourist killer), Richard Allen Davis (Polly Klaas Killer) and Scott Peterson.

Didn't the police commish who came up with the "broken windows" theory come originally from Boston before going to NYC and then Los Angeles? What ever happened to that approach in The Hub?

Actually, Stephen Stayner w... (Below threshold)

Actually, Stephen Stayner was the one kidnapped by Kenneth Parnell & held for 7 years. They made a movie of the week about him... I went to high school with him. Died in his early 20's in a motorcycle wreck in the fog; left a wife and kid.

It was his brother, Cary, that killed those women up in the park. ( I lived in the park from 92-95; passed the site of the murders every weekend on my way downhill) His uncle was a Sherriff's Deputy & got killed with his own sidearm while being burgled.

Messed up family, or what?






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