The reported rape total continues to rise in Boston, a frightening trend that is startling police who are grappling to understand why there are more sexual assaults when the city is generally seeing fewer homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults, the Boston Globe reports. Police have received reports of 253 rapes and attempted rapes through Dec. 6, up 23 percent compared with the same time period in 2008, when 205 rapes were reported. Officials said that the year-to-year increase appears particularly dramatic because the number of sexual assaults last year dropped to the lowest level in decades.
Police Commissioner Edward Davis said police need to look more closely at what is behind the rise. “Just attributing it to an all-time low from last year is not sufficient,'' Davis said. “It troubles me that the numbers have gone up so high while other [crime] categories have gone down.'' He added: “It's just in contrast to everything else that's happening. It doesn't make any sense.''