I read all your comments on Facebook when I post about crimes, so I know there’s going to be skepticism about this:
There was a 16 percent decrease in crime in Lowell in 2011, compared to 2010, in the most closely watched crime categories.
That includes a 15 percent drop in aggravated assaults, and robberies, a 16 percent drop in vandalism, and a whopping 27 percent drop in car breaks ins, which were a major problem in 2010.
The burglary and shoplifting numbers surprised me, considering the economy.
Homicide was down 50 percent, but there are often large fluctuations in that, since the city rarely has more than 10 murders per year. There were 6 in 2010, and 3 in 2011.
Now, I know there is going to be a lot of skepticism about this, but I’m going to take a bit of a risk here and tell you that I expected these numbers to show a large decrease in crime. I very much noticed it as I waited for incidents to write about throughout 2011.
I even privately predicted a large drop all the way back in November, though I was too superstitious to jinx it by sharing that opinion before the end of the year.
Thoughts? Comments? Skepticism? Do you feel safer?
For more information and the police department’s take on this, download this press release from Lowell Police.
So far these are just preliminary numbers, and the full set of statistics and data will not be released for a while yet. I’m not going to write a big front page story about this until those of us here at the paper have a chance to see and analyze the full numbers.
I might believe that this decline is real and I might have noticed it throughout the year, but that won’t prevent the paper from taking a much closer look at the numbers once they’re available.