Boston Police A-1 Captain Bernard O’Rourke and Sergeant Tom Lema reported at this week’s NEWNC Public Safety meeting that after a spike of residential break-ins during the summer, North End / Waterfront crime incidents have come down in September and early October.
In the last 30 days through October 7, 2010, there were no homicides or sexual assaults, 2 robberies (up from 1 last year), 3 aggravated assaults (1), 5 breaking & entering (4), 2 auto thefts (0), 4 motor vehicle break-ins (6). Police towed 7 vehicles, gave 113 moving violations and 302 parking citations. There were 11 arrests by officers during the month of September. Year-to-date crime incidents are still up over last year, but trending down since July. See the charts below for details.
Loud Parties Move to North End from Beacon Hill
In response to resident complaints regarding loud parties by college students, the police are adding extra patrol cars to the neighborhood on Thursday through Saturday nights. Of the 13 major loud party reports received recently, 11 have been in the North End and only 2 in Beacon Hill. Police report that landlords in Beacon Hill have banded together and agreed NOT to rent to college students. This has apparently shifted many students to North End apartments.
Residents blame absentee landlords that are not here to oversee their rental units. NEWNC member, Jorge Mendoza, told the police that a few arrests would get the word out in the college community that loud noise won’t be tolerated. He also cites incidents of bad behavior such as peeing and puking in doorways as well as college kids fighting with locals.
Crowds of kids stream over from the Faneuil Hall area in the early morning hours when the bars close. Residents complain that loud conversations echo off North End buildings, keeping them awake at night.
An amazing statistic was cited by officers that 22,000 people come out of Boston bars and clubs at 2:00 am on a typical Saturday night. With this type of volume, it is difficult for the police to be everywhere.
Residents asked for more police presence. In response, Captain O’Rourke said he would divert some patrols over to the neighborhood on Thursday through Saturday nights. The added patrols would start immediately.
Police will have special cards printed that will be distributed to college students that are walking in the neighborhood. These types of cards were previously used to get the word out for the motorcycle noise program called “Pipe Down Please.” The new cards should be ready in a few weeks.
Some residents complemented police on quickly shutting down a major party last weekend that resulted in a fight on the corner of Salem & Charter Streets. Sgt. Lema also visits the area colleges to talk to students during their orientations.
Police emphasize to residents, “Don’t feel bad about calling 911 or the Loud Party Hotline at 617-343-5500.” Only through these reports will problem properties be identified.
Below is a rundown of crime incidents in the North End / Waterfront area during the last 30 days.
September 9, 3:15pm – 29 N. Margin St., a 31 year-old male from Somerville was approached by a hispanic/white male who grabbed his shoulder bag. When the victim resisted, the suspect pulled a knife, took the bag and ran away.
September 20, 1:00am – Prince & Salem Streets, a homeless male robbed another possibly homeless male. The suspect and victim were known to each other.
September 10, 8:57 pm – 164 Prince St., 15 year-old male from Roxbury was shooting a BB gun at nearby open windows around the Copps Hill burial ground. Police found the suspect in Polcari playground and made an arrest. The charge is assault with a dangerous weapon. Other males, some thought to be from the North End, were with the suspect, ID’d and released.
September 25, 8:00 pm – An employee of the Lucca Restaurant on Hanover St. was struck by glass in the face by a known suspect.
September 29, 1:22 pm – Domestic violence incident, arrest made.
Burglaries – Breaking & Entering
Unity St, September 6th, nothing taken.
Unity Ct, September 6th, laptop and camera taken.
Lewis Wharf office, September 19, laptop taken.
Lewis Wharf residence, October 2, laptop, mp3 player, clothing taken. A homeless male climbed temporary scaffolding in the mid-afternoon. Residents restrained suspect, police responded and made arrest.
Cooper St., October 5, break-in during construction, caused water damage.
Larceny from Motor Vehicles
With only 4 car breaks in the last 30 days, larcenies are down significantly. Items taken include laptops, golf clubs, gps devices, makeup and digital cameras.
Two cars were stolen, from Fulton and Battery Streets in the last month.
Hellish Halloween Weekend Expected
With Halloween on a Sunday this year, police are expecting a circus environment to prevail from Friday through Sunday nights.
The night shelter on Bowker Street is closing. The shelter services about 100 homeless individuals that will be transferred elsewhere, including the Pine Street Inn. The police expect less homeless in the immediate area as a result.
A methadone clinic is operating on Canal St. in the West End and police have received reports of walking “zombie-like” behavior. Residents should report sightings to 911.
Sgt. Lema reported on a walk through that he did with the Parks Department in the DeFilippo Park (Gassy). He recommended additional lighting in the “flights area” and favors a lower brick wall along Snow Hill St. to open the sight lines to the park from the street. (Read more about the planned work in the park area along Snow Hill Street.)