Sep 15, 2022 - News

Violent crime creeps up in Boston

A group of officers, some in black and yellow jackets, gather outside a crime scene.
Officers responded to a report of a barricaded suspect Nov. 9, 2021, on Ferndale Street. Photo: Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Violent crime in Boston was up slightly the first half of this year compared with the first six months of last year, while instances of homicide, rape and robbery dropped, according to an annual midyear survey of major metro police departments.

Details: The 1.6% increase in the overall violent crime rate was driven by a slight uptick in aggravated assaults, from 1,138 by the middle of last year to 1,207 by June 2022.

The homicide rate in Boston was down 38% from last year, with 13 reported through June, compared with 21 in the same time frame last year. Instances of rape were also down from 98 in last year's survey to 86 this year, a 12% drop.

  • Robberies were down 6.4% from 357 to 334 this year.

Why it matters: While rape and homicide rates may be falling in some cities like Boston, violent crime rates in U.S. cities haven't returned to pre-pandemic levels, Axios' Russell Contreras reports.

  • Nationally, violent crime spiked 4.2% in the first six months of 2022, compared with 2021, according to the survey of 70 cities.
  • Robberies were up by nearly 12% nationally, and aggravated assaults increased by around 3%.
  • Homicides decreased by 2.4% and rapes fell by 5%, "offering hope that some of the most violent crimes might be leveling off from significant increases in 2020, as reported to the FBI," Contreras writes.

Yes, but: Things weren't much safer nationally before the pandemic in 2019.

  • Some cities reported 50% fewer homicides and roughly 36% fewer aggravated assaults, but Boston reported more homicides, robberies and rapes pre-pandemic.
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