“I hope it snows tomorrow,” said North End resident Loretta when it was reported that weather helped the number of crime incidents trend down 21% on a year-to-date basis. Still, Sergeant Lema brought mostly good news to the May 2011 North End Public Safety meeting.
There have been no homicides or sexual assaults in the neighborhood during 2011 and overall crime incidents are down to 69 through April versus 89 at this time last year, a 21% decrease. (See the charts at the end of this post for a detailed breakdown.)
Most notable was a sharp falloff in larcenies during April, which are primarily car break-ins. There were only 8 incidents in April 2011, down from 25 last year and 14 last month. Police believe that some of their efforts have paid off and repeat offenders were recently apprehended or have left the neighborhood. BPD still advises residents not to leave any type of valuables in their vehicles, such as GPS units, iPods, briefcases, etc.
Residential break-ins are also down in the last 30 days after a spike earlier in the year. Police believe that Operation Criss-Cross has been working and they have brought several suspects in for questioning. It appears that one or more of the suspects have left the neighborhood. As always, BPD recommends dead-locks on all doors and not to buzz in unrecognized people.
Individual incidents mentioned at the meeting were previously reported on the weekly journal police blotters.
At the request of City Hall, Police have increased enforcement on Hanover Street. In the last 30 days, police issued 490 parking citations and 204 moving violations. Sgt. Lema was a little skeptical of the result, however, noting little change in behavior on Hanover St. regarding double-parking and other violations.
Sgt. Lema mentioned some restaurant-related complaints:
- Bacco, at the corner of Salem and Parmenter Streets, has been leaving its windows open past 11pm with music disturbing the area. Police have responded to the situation and the restaurant says it will comply with the 11pm limit.
- Police also cited Il Pannino for placing trash on the street for resident pick-up.
Quality of Life Complaints
- A complaint was received regarding a homeless encampment under the N. Washington St. bridge which remains blocked off on the North End side.
- Sandwich sign boards have been a recurring resident complaint. Sgt. Lema said he has notified Inspectional Services and Public Works. He expects to receive a response in the next month. While he sees them throughout the city, “any obstruction of the sidewalk is not permitted.”
- A complaint was received regarding a guitar player in the Prado, named David. He is a street performer without a permit. Police will move him out if he is deemed disruptive.
Loud Party Complaints
- 19 Widget St. – complaints of loud music, repetitive
- 6 Charter St. – young professionals, 12 guests, all legal, ended the party upon police response
- 152 Salem St. – Suffolk students, will be receiving city ordinance citations
- Michelangelo St. – young professionals, ended party upon police response
Police are preparing graphic cards to hand out regarding loud and disruptive activity. The effort is similar to the “Pipe Down Please” cards that helped reduce the motorcycle noise last year. The new cards will say something to the effect of, “Be aware that people live here” with a picture of Paul Revere saying “Shhh!”
“Every time your quality of life is affected, you should call 911,” said Sgt. Lema. If it is a code or public works issue, call the hotline at 617 635-4500. One resident said the hotline was effective in responding to idling trucks.
Police are preparing for a possible Bruin’s Stanley Cup, the first in 40 years. District A-1 would expect mayhem if the Bruins go all the way. “It could be a scary situation,” said the Sergeant.
The next North End Public Safety meeting is scheduled for June 2, 2011, 6:30 pm at the Nazzaro Center. The meeting is usually the first Thursday of the month and open to the public.