2013 Crime Statistics Overview
Part I Offenses
From 2009-2011, this department experienced a significant increase in the number of reported burglaries. In 2013, the number of reported burglaries decreased 10% from 2012, and 24% from the [department’s]five year average. As a result of these decreases, the Fitchburg Police Department based police response on data analysis; patterns and trends were analyzed in order to identify crime series, repeat offenders, etc. Also, in 2011, an ordinance was drafted by Detective Sergeant Martineau which requires pawn shops and scrap yards to record identifying information on the seller and on the purchase. This ordinance was done in an effort to deter crime, identify offenders, and recover stolen property for the victims. Additionally, media campaigns (newspaper, social media, public access TV) were conducted to enhance benefits of crime prevention initiatives; spreading public awareness of crime.
Robbery offenses decreased 26% from 2012, and 31% from the five year average. In 2013, 26% of all reported robbery offenses were cleared by either an arrest or by exceptional means. According to the FBI, nationally 28% of all robberies are met with clearance.
Reported motor vehicle theft increased dramatically in 2013; up 78% from 2012. Many vehicles were left unlocked or unsecured with the keys either in the ignition or a spare left somewhere in the vehicle. Additionally, many of these offenses were listed as “use motor vehicle without authority” meaning the person (s) who stole the vehicle was likely known to the victim and use was not permitted by the reporting party.
Total Violent Crime (aggravated assault, rape, murder, and robbery) was down approximately 7% from last year, and about 2% from the average. Total reported property crime (larceny, mv theft, burglary) saw no change from 2012, and a 9% decrease from the average. Overall Part I Offenses were down 1% from 2012, and 8% from the five year average.
Part II Offenses
Continuing with many of last year’s initiatives, OUI arrests increased 54% from the average. Many traffic related campaigns, like Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, were conducted in the city last year in an effort to remove unsafe operators from roadways. DDACTS, which stands for Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, is another initiative that combines crime and traffic data in order to establish methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources. Assigned officers’ conduct traffic enforcement in targeted hot spots for both criminal activity and high crash locations. The Drug Suppression Unit (DSU) executed 30 search warrants, made 32 arrests, and seized nine (9) firearms as a result of lengthy investigations in 2013. Additionally, as a result of proactive patrol work, officers arrested 81 individuals on drug violations. Drug arrests increased 5% from last year, and 9% from the average.
Calls for Service
In 2013, the Fitchburg Police Department recorded 51,172 calls for service. This figure is up 2% from 2012, and 23% from the five year average.
The UCR Crime Index is a collection of selected offenses used by the FBI to measure changes in crime reported to police. These offenses include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, arson, and auto theft. According to the FBI, Arson statistics are included in trend, clearance, and arrest tables throughout Crime in the United States, but they are not included in any estimated volume data.
According to the UCR reporting systems, the “Hierarchy Rule” governs multiple offense reporting. If more than one crime was committed by the same person or group of persons and the time and space intervals separating the crimes were insignificant, then the crime highest in the hierarchy is the only offense reported. http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/faqs.htm
The Fitchburg Police Department voluntarily submits NIBRS data to the Massachusetts Crime Report Unit, who then in turns submits UCR summary data to the FBI. UCR Crime Index data included in this report has been retrieved from the Massachusetts Crime Reporting Unit on February 26th, 2014. Please note, final numbers may be subject to change; official FBI statistics typically published in the fall.
* Note: Inc = percentages are not calculated for numbers so small so as to prevent a statistically misleading percentage
updated 5/9/14 kla