• About the Project
Goals & Indicators:
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Part 1 Crime by US Metros
  • Uniform Crime Reports
Homeland Security Funding by State
  • Homeland Security Funding by State
Emergency Preparedness by City or State
  • Measure needed
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Trends in Types of Crimes
  • Property Crime, Boston
  • Violent Crime, Boston

Crime rates in Boston continue to decline following an up-tick in 2005 and 2006, with much of the credit going to an increased emphasis on community policing, more street workers and reinvigorated and new public/private partnerships.  Overall, crime in Boston declined by 8.4%, or 2,632 incidents, between 2007 and 2008, continuing a gradual drop since the last peak in 2001. However, citywide averages obscure an increase in youth violence in geographic “hot spots,” for which Street Safe Boston—a $20 million public-private partnership targeting youth violence—and new policing initiatives have been launched, even in the face of budget cuts.Citywide, property crime (robbery, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft) increased by 1%—or 224 incidents—between 2007 and 2008, but dropped by 14% since 2000. Citywide, actual and attempted vehicle thefts were down by 30%, burglary by 9% and larceny by 6%.Citywide, total violent crime, including homicides, rapes ,aggravated assault (actual and attempted) declined by 8%, or 392 incidents, from 31,366 in 2007 to 28,743 in 2008. Half of reported violent crimes are concentrated in Police Districts that comprise roughly one-third of the city’s population and cover the neighborhoods of Roxbury/Mission Hill (20%), Dorchester (16%), and Mattapan/North Dorchester (14%).

Crime in Boston's public housing has also declined to the lowest rate since the early 1990's.  In 2008 there were over 200 fewer violent crimes at BHA locations than in 2006 and roughly 800 fewer than in 1993.  Property crimes also declined by about 200 incidences between 2006 and 2008 with roughly 1,300 fewer property crimes than in 1993.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Resident Public Perception of Safety
  • Neighborhood Perceptions of Safety
  • Perception of Increase in Weapons
  • Perceptions of Gang Activity
Quality of Life Incidents Captured by Citizens Connect
  • Quality of Life Incidents
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Residents who Trust their Neighbors in Boston
  • Trust in Neighbors
Trends in Reported Hate Crimes in Boston
  • Hate Crimes by Type
  • 842bPerp
  • 842cVic

The number of hate crimes in Boston investigated by the Community Disorders Unit of the Boston Police Department (BPD) continued to decline overall, reaching an all-time low of 169 in 2006, despite a slight increase in 2005 to 219 reported incidents. 

According to the BPD, the greatest number of hate crimes in 2006—roughly 30%—were perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation.  For the first time, African Americans comprised the second largest group of victims with 33—or 20%—reported incidents in 2006, down from 65—or 30%—in 2005.  Jewish people experienced the largest increase in perpetrated hate crimes in 2006 with 24 reported incidents, double the number in 2005 and up from just 9 in 2004.  Crimes against Middle Eastern people declined to 8 incidents in 2006 from 20 in 2004.

According to the BPD, the Police District including South Boston reported the highest number and percentage of hate and miscellaneous crimes for 2006 with 43 incidents—roughly 20%—followed by Central/Beacon Hill and Dorchester, both with 27 incidents, and the South End/Back Bay District with 26 incidents.  Mattapan experienced the largest decrease in incidents with 6 in 2006, down from 18 in 2005.  Allston/Brighton and Hyde Park also experienced 9 fewer hate crimes in 2006 than in 2005. 

Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence
  • Incidents of Domestic Violence
Strong Community Organizations
  • Neighborhood Watch and Support Organizations
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Juvenile Crime Rates
  • Youth Crime, Ages 14 to 24
  • Youth Crime by Type, Ages 16 and Under
  • Percent of Youth Who Have Carried a Weapon

Overall youth crime declined from a high of 9,457 incidents in 2006 to 7,101 incidents in 2009, according to the more recently available data from the Boston Police Department.  This decline was largely due to a decrease in Part 2, or quality of life, crimes committed by youth in Boston as the total number of violent and property crimes committed by those under 24 remained at about 3,000 incidents.  The decline was also driven by a falling number of incidents involving very young youth under the age of 16.

Additionally, the percent of teens in Boston who reported carrying a gun within the previous month continued to fall to just 3.3% in 2011 compared to 10% of teens in 1993.  The racial/ethnic gap has all but closed when it comes to carrying weapons: 3.9% of African Americans, 3.5% of white and 2.8% of Latinos reported carrying a gun in 2011 compared to 15.3%, 4.7% and 9.6%, respectively, in 1993.

Rates of Delinquency at School
  • Annual Expulsion Rates by School
  • Annual Truancy Rates by School
  • Annual Dropout Rates by School

Suspensions: The BPS district-wide suspension rate has remained around 6% for the last few academic years, but is down from near 9% in 2007.  However, a number of schools had a suspension rate near 18% or higher in 2011 including a number of BPS high schools and charter schools.

Truancy: the BPS district average truancy rate has remained at about 1%.  However, 6 schools in Boston--including 5 charter schools--had an annual truancy rate greater than 4% in 2011.

Dropouts: Annual dropout rates in BPS dropped 6.4% in 2011, the lowest rate on record.  However, at as many as 28 schools (both district and charter schools) the annual dropout rate was greater than 15%.

Out-of-School Time Recreation Opportunities
  • Out-of-School Time Recreation Opportunities

According to BostoNavigator, there are more tan 120 facilities across the city of Boston providing hundreds of different programming options for out of school time activity and learning.  The Boston Center for Youth and Families also runs 34 different sites across the city, including pools that are open seasonally.  Together, City and private out-of-school facilities provide programming in the arts, sports, college prep, technology and media literacy, jobs an career exploration among many other options.  

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Trends in Funding for the Boston Police Department
  • Funding for Boston Police Department
Massachusetts Funding for Safety & Criminal Justice
  • Massachusetts Funding for Law Enforcement
  • Massachusetts Funding for Prisons, Probation & Parole
Funding for the Department of Children, Youth & Families
  • Funding for the Massachusetts Department of Children, Youth & Families