As Boston was set to finish the year with its lowest number of homicides and shootings since 2003, community leaders who work to prevent violence remain concerned about a rise of sexual assaults and an increase in robberies in usually quieter parts of the city, the Boston Globe reports. There were 49 killings in Boston as of last night, the lowest since 2003’s 39. Police Commissioner Edward Davis credited the decline to a police strategy of officers’ getting out of their cruisers and interacting more with residents of high-crime neighborhoods.
There were 272 reported rapes and attempted rapes as of Monday, compared with 214 for the same period in 2008. The Rev. Jeffrey Brown of the Boston TenPoint Coalition said reports of robberies in some neighborhoods may be a sign that the still-weak economy is leading to desperate actions. “That troubles me. Violence is due to multiple factors and the economy being one of them, you don't want [people's] anxiety to increase as a result of that and then get trigger happy,'' he said. “There are no jobs to be had in the near future. I mean, it makes me nervous.''