At the March 2011 North End Public Safety held this week, District A-1 Police reported that year-to-date crime incidents are down over 30% from last year, thanks to a little help from Mother Nature. During the last 30 days in the North End / Waterfront area, there were no homicides, sexual assaults or robberies. There was 1 aggravated assault (same number as last year), 1 breaking & entering (down from 4), 1 auto theft (down from 2), 5 motor vehicle larcenies (up from 2), 2 graffiti incidents (up from 00). Police towed four vehicles, gave out 208 moving violations and 432 parking tickets.
A reported assault occured on Salem St., February 23rd between a landlord and tenant. The landlord’s wife struck the tenant on the arm during an argument. No injuries were reported.
There was one burglary on N. Hudson St. on February 28th where the front door was pried open in the afternoon. A Sony Playstation 3 was taken.
Car breaks continue to be the most frequent crime in the North End. Police warn car owners not to leave anything in their cars. This month, items stolen from cars include a laptop, gps, briefcase and ipod. There was one car stolen from N. Washington St., a Subaru.
Two graffiti incidents were reported on subsequent days, both on Sheafe St. The drawings were identified as “inappropriate.” Graffiti busters responded to remove the graffiti.
On a year-to-date basis, Boston Police said that most crime categories are down over 30% from last year. The cold weather has kept people inside, reducing crime opportunities.
Community Input from Meeting Attendees
District A-1 Police said they have an upcoming meeting to coordinate with the City’s Public Works and Transportation Departments. They asked meeting attendees what issues needed attention. Residents present at the North End meeting asked police to bring up the issues of double-parking, late deliveries and sidewalk signs blocking pedestrian traffic.
There was an extended discussion about sidewalk signs, tables and other “furniture” on North End streets. Police said they would discuss the issue with other city agencies regarding increased enforcement. Resident Anne Pistorio also said that some businesses are blocking handicap and fire access spaces with delivery vehicles.
North End resident Bart Higgins brought up the concern of roof top parties as the better weather approaches. Recognizing the police often have higher priorities, he said, “calling 911 just doesn’t work.” Captain O’Rourke responded, “We have taken some actions in the past few years to crack down on parties. The Problem Properties task force works and landlords are starting to add eviction terms to leases in the case of noise complaints.”
“The best course of action is to call 911 (or the District A-1 community desk at 617-343-4627) and be persistent. If you don’t see a response in 20 minutes, call again,” said O’Rourke. Sgt. Lema added, “We are getting Inspectional Services more involved too.” He noted that the Police Community desk will check specific addresses regarding the legality of roof decks on a property.
Stephanie Hogue, NEWRA President, said there is also the issue of loud conversations on the streets late at night. Sgt. Lema said he would address that issue in upcoming lectures at local universities.
Carol from Parmenter St. suggested bringing back a traffic control cop on Hanover Street. Captain O’Rourke said that the current patrolling officer, Roy, gives out more tickets than any of the other 200 officers in the district.
David Roderick, a Prince St. resident, said he is concerned about “silent crime” that is going unreported. Parents and clean-up personnel are finding drug paraphernalia in neighborhood parks, such as DeFilippo Playground (the Gassy). He asked for more frequent checks in the area.
Captain O’Rourke said his district is currently constrained, but that a new academy class is coming out in June which could increase available officers. He noted that current patrols remain focused around Charter St. where prior assaults have been committed. Sgt. Lema noted he has asked the Parks Department to add more lighting and reconfigure the “flights” area as part of planned renovations at the Gassy.
A North End dog owner complained that many dogs are unleashed in the neighborhood and that owners don’t pick-up. “I have a very difficult time walking my dog with so many irresponsible young kids. They don’t pick-up,” she said. Police are prepared to handle dangerous situations, such as unmuzzled pit bulls, but suggested calling Animal Control for violations during the day (617-635-5348 or firstname.lastname@example.org).