Crime Stats - First Half 06
Boise, August 1, 2006 - Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson gives credit to his officers and citizens tonight for making a positive difference on the streets. Major crimes are down 15% for the first six months of 2006. Major crimes (or "Part 1" crimes) are defined as crimes reported to the FBI for national statistical tracking purposes, used to compare Boise's crime rate to that of other cities. Major crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. All the major crime categories are down, with the exception of robberies.
"These crimes are dropping at a time when the cities population is increasing," said Chief Masterson. "Officers are working hard at impacting areas where they can make a difference. They're being proactive in the field and working with neighbors and I feel that's a big reason for these positive figures."
The Chief was joined by Mayor Dave Bieter in announcing the downward crime trends. The stats were released at the Morris Hill Neighborhood National Night Out celebration. Both the Chief and the Mayor also credit neighborhood groups like Neighborhood Watch for making a difference. In the Morris Hill neighborhood crime dropped 9% from 2004 to 2005. The Chief and officers who patrol the area credit the drop to an active Neighborhood Watch group and citizens partnering with officers.
"When neighbors watch out for each other," said the Chief, "the impact can be dramatic. It's a help to police, but it translates into what matters most to all of us, and that's a safe, healthy neighborhood."
"What we're doing is working," said Mayor Bieter. "Community Policing is working. Neighborhood Watch programs are working."
Chief Masterson credits the large drop in home burglaries (down 30%) and theft (down 15%) to focused enforcement on habitual criminals - folks who earn their living stealing from others. Also, to a focused enforcement by the BPD Crime Prevention Unit working with businesses to target habitual shoplifters.
The crime prevention message may also be getting through to citizens. Thefts from vehicles (down 26%) and motor vehicle thefts (down 26%) are often crimes of opportunity.
"Citizens appear to be getting the message to lock it or lose it, and taking more responsibility for their own personal safety," said Chief Masterson. "We hope that continues."
The chief also notes that officers are focusing more on traffic enforcement. Traffic was the biggest concern among citizens in a recent neighborhood survey. Moving violation citations are up 8% from last year.
Other notable crime trends for Boise City Jan. 1 - June 30, 2006 :
- Officers are aggressively looking for drunk drivers and those violating alcohol/drug laws:
DUI arrests - up 22%
Liquor Law Violations - up 27% (open container, underage drinking)
Drug Paraphernalia violations - up 13%
- Officers are being proactive, officer initiated calls for service are up 4%.
- Many crimes remain static, meaning they fluctuate statistically year to year but show no prolonged trends, crimes like aggravated assault, sexual assaults, runaways, etc. Boise continues to see generally a static trend in these offenses.
- Fraud, Forgery and Counterfeiting dropped 15% in the first half of this year, but over a five year period show a continual upward trend. As officers target burglary and theft, thieves are getting more sophisticated and turning to financial crimes.
- Officers continue to see reports of commercial burglaries (up 15%) targeting lap tops and other easy to carry items.
- Stalking and Enticement are both on the increase (Stalking up 12%, Enticement up 21%). Both offenses take considerable time from officers to investigate and protect victims.
- Bank and Business Robberies are up this year but the real numbers remain fairly small (12 bank robberies so far this year compared to 9 this time last year; 14 business robberies compared to 7 this time in '04).