Violent crime has dipped dramatically in Boston, with homicides on a pace to decrease by 20 percent by year's end, reports the Boston Globe. The drop – 44 homicides through Sunday compared with 56 last year – is a continuation of the steady decline that began after 2006, when the number of killings reached 75. Police and activists who work with youth on the streets cite several factors, including better communication between law enforcement and community groups, growing weariness of violence from citizens, and a return to crime fighting initiatives that were successful in the 1990s.
“I'm very happy with the way things are going,'' said Police Commissioner Edward Davis. Homicides decreased slightly nationwide – about 5 percent – between 2006 and 2008. Despite the progress in Boston, community leaders and police said they do not want to take the quiet for granted, especially around Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays, when alcohol-fueled parties can lead to violence.