Crime Rate Continues Downward Trend; Reason to Celebrate National Nite Out!
Boise, August 4, 2008 - Police Chief Michael Masterson says Boiseans have one more reason to celebrate National Night Out - the latest crime reports show a decrease in overall crime in the city of nearly 9%, and a drop of nearly 14% in more serious crimes.
The second quarter statistics from 2008 show an 8.8% drop in overall crime in the city. It's the 10th consecutive quarter showing a decrease in crime in Boise, continuing since the 1st quarter of 2006.
"I can say with confidence that the hard work and dedication of Boise's Police force is a major reason for the decrease in crime, but the safety of our community is a partnership with our citizens," said Chief Masterson. "All of us should celebrate the success of our partnerships and look for even more ways to work together to keep our city safe."
"Boise has been a leader in developing public safety partnerships, from neighborhood groups, to businesses, to schools." said Chief Masterson. "City leaders have supported the department, citizens support and cooperate with their officers, and these statistics support what many of us have felt for a long time, that Boise is a very livable, safe, enjoyable place to live."
Boise Crime Statistics of Note; comparing Jan - June 2008 to Jan - June 2007:
- Group A Top 8 Crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson) - down 9.4%
- Other Group A Crimes (including sexual assaults, kidnapping, weapons violations, assault, drug violations, etc) - down 13.7%
- Group B Crimes (including bad checks, disorderly conduct, DUI, runaways, trespassing, etc) - 5%
*crimes are grouped by federal and state reporting categories. For complete 2nd qtr stats, log onto www.boisepolice.org and click on Crime Stats.
Trends of Note:
- Violent crimes; murder, rape, aggravated assault, down significantly. Boise is part of a national trend in decreasing violent crimes according to FBI statistics. Chief Masterson believes community-police partnerships, quick police response times, and a visible police presence are all responsible for that trend, both nationally and in Boise.
- Stolen cars down sharply. Also a national trend in many cities. Chief Masterson cites crime prevention messages that educate citizens to lock their vehicles as being an effective deterrent.
- 2nd qtr 08 showed a slight (2%) increase in reported downtown crime, but for year-to-date, downtown crime is down 9.2%. Chief Masterson cites city partnership with downtown business owners and managers addressing problem areas as showing major successes. Also, enforcement of the city's relatively new public intoxication law has allowed officers to stop problems before they escalate into violence (Public Drunkeness arrests up 37%, with about 70% of those arrests coming from the downtown area).
- Embezzlement cases up approx. 18%. Boise Police investigations also report dollar amounts involved are also getting higher. Chief Masterson says these white collar crimes may be increasing as the economy has soured.
- Family violence crimes are holding steady. Some categories show a slight increase from 2007, but on par with 2006. Boise Police have implemented programs to try and prevent further family violence as well as respond quicker to the reports that do come in. Officers are trying new ways to locate domestic violence suspects before they re-offend, and to improve follow up communication with family violence victims. Family violence is a primary focus for the police department and it's partners in this area, says Chief Masterson, because of the effects these crimes can have on children, and because of the possibility of escalating violence.
- Vandalism reports are down, but graffiti reports show a slight increase. Boise Police are working on methods to improve the reporting and tracking of graffiti, as well as programs to remove graffiti faster once it's been documented.