While still considered very low versus other areas of the city, North End crime incidents are now 8% of the total in Area A-1, up from 3% last year. Area A-1 covers 9 neighborhoods in the City. Year to date, there have been 199 reported crime incidents in the North End, an increase of 30 over last year. Reported incidents totaled 29 in July and 27 in August 2009. This compares to 18 last July and 34 last August.
The increase in year-to-date crime incidents in the North End is primarily tied to a surge of auto break-ins. This is where GPS, laptops, briefcases and the like are stolen out of cars parked on the street. This may be a result of an increase in homelessness and the poor economy. The Police urge car owners to hide or remove all valuables from the vehicles.
Neighborhood residents received a detailed review of the North End/Waterfront crime issues at the September public safety meeting. Bobby DeCristoro of the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council hosts the meeting along with Boston Police from Area A-1, Captain O’Rourke, Sargent Lema and Officer Teddy Boyle.
The North End was recently identified by Boston Police as one of the top Crime Watch groups. With this public participation, the Police have been able to keep the North End crime figures among the lowest in the city.
I’ll cover the major crime incidents in other posts, but here are some highlights of minor reports:
- From a crime standpoint, the feasts were uneventful this summer. The last night of the St. Anthony’s feast became somewhat rowdy according to Police. Extra cars were ordered to the area.
- Resident Victor Brogna reported an incident at Long Wharf where 12 skateboarders had taken over the space.He reported it to the Mayors Hotline. The Police said that if such a case looks like it is getting out of hand, residents should call 911. The Police have been using a system to control skateboarders of 1. Warn, 2. Cite, 3. Take Board Away. Others at the meeting identified several other areas where skateboarders are frequently ruining property, such as Copps Hill Terrace. A new City Ordinance allows the police to issue citations for abusive skateboarding, although just owning or riding a board is legal.
- There was a minor incident on Hanover Street where a college independent film was taping a staged bank robbery. A resident named George mistook the scene as a real robbery when he saw a fake gun. He grabbed the actor, threw him against the wall and held him in a choke hold. The police arrived and straightened out the misunderstanding.
- The police reviewed two problem properties, relating to out of control house parties. One on Fleet Street has been resolved by the residents moving out. The other at 224 Hanover Street remains on the list. A group of male Emerson college students have been repeatedly reported for breaking onto their roof and causing dangerous conditions as well as excessive party noise. After several warnings, the police have given the students one more chance and are monitoring the situation.
The neighborhood public safety meeting is held on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the Nazzaro Center, 30 N. Bennet Street. The next meeting will be held on October 1st. See the Calendar for all meetings and events.