Boston gangsters are driving the staggering number of shootings on city streets this year – with 70 percent of the victims identified by police as members or associates of street gangs, reports the Boston Herald. That astonishing figure has left city cops grappling with a low clearance rate on gunfire cases and prompted officials to add more detectives to neighborhoods hardest hit by bullets. From Jan. 1 to Sept. 13 of this year, 247 people were hit by bullets, 36 fatally, but police made arrests in just 35 of those cases – a 14 percent clearance rate. “The low clearance rate is absolutely frustrating,” Boston Police Superintendent Robert Dunford said. “The public looks at why are we not clearing these cases and making arrests.
In gang cases, victims almost never cooperate with police and very often resort to retaliation themselves, adding to the cycle of violence. While this year's clearance rate is up slightly from the 11 percent rate during the same period last year, when cops busted 32 people in connection with 290 shootings, it is still less than that of other major metropolitan police departments. The New York police clearance rate hovers around 50 percent in shooting and homicide cases. Chicago's clearance rate is around 40 percent. “In many, many cases we know who did the shooting and what the motive is. We are missing the link in knowing and convincing the district attorney that we have probable cause to take this to trial,” Dunford said. “It's one thing to say I suspect you of a crime, it's another thing to say I can prove it.”