City fifth in violence crime.Byline: Shaun Sutner
WORCESTER - While the city's property crime rate has gradually declined by more than 30 percent over a 15-year period, its violent crime rate has not changed, according to a new report by The Research Bureau.
Meanwhile, Worcester's violent crime rate ranks it fifth among the 10 largest New England cities - with a rate of violent crime that is higher than Providence and Boston, but lower than New Haven, Conn., Springfield, Hartford and Bridgeport, Conn.
In 2010, there were 35.6 percent fewer property crimes in Worcester, such as burglary, larceny, theft, shoplifting Ask a Lawyer
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caught shoplifting at sears 12/05/05, first time, 20yearsold, have no criminal record. and vandalism, than there were in 1995, but only 2.1 percent fewer violent crimes such as murders, assaults and robberies, according to the bureau's report, "Benchmarking Public Safety in Worcester: 2012."
The report, which consists mainly of charts and short explanations of the statistics, is the eighth such public safety benchmarking report that has been issued by the bureau, an independent nonprofit funded by corporations, foundations, universities and individuals that tracks the city's finances and administration.
Police Chief Gary J. Gemme said he is reviewing the report.
While Worcester had more violent crime overall than Providence, the Rhode Island Rhode Island, island, United States
Rhode Island, island, 15 mi (24 km) long and 5 mi (8 km) wide, S R.I., at the entrance to Narragansett Bay. It is the largest island in the state, with steep cliffs and excellent beaches. city with which it is often compared, Providence generally has had more murders than Worcester. In 2010, Providence had 15 murders compared to Worcester's seven; in 2009, Providence had 24 murders, while Worcester had seven.
The report also found that in 2010, Worcester ranked sixth of the 10 biggest New England cities in terms of police staffing levels.
Waterbury, Conn., Providence, Bridgeport, New Haven, Conn., Hartford and Boston all had more uniformed employees on average per 1,000 residents, according to data compiled by the bureau from the FBI's 2010 crime survey.
With a staffing rate of 2.3 uniformed employees per 1,000 residents, Worcester has more uniformed officers than Springfield, Manchester, N.H., and Stamford, Conn. The 2.3 rate is above the average rate of 1.8 for cities with 100,000 to 250,000 residents, according to the FBI.
The report also evaluated the effects of the economic recession on crime rates and staffing levels in the Worcester Police and Fire departments.
The recession had no significant effect on crime trends in the city, with similar rates for murder, shootings, aggravated assault A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he or she attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another or causes such injury purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or attempts to cause or purposely or , robbery, burglary, shoplifting, larceny, prostitution and drug offenses from 2007 to 2011.
However, the number of uniformed positions in the Worcester Police Department is down 11 percent since the late 1990s, with 64 fewer positions since 1998, a decline of 11 percent.
Fire Department staffing levels are also down, but only 2 percent, or eight positions, the report said.
Firefighter workloads have increased, but mainly in emergency medical services An Emergency medical service (abbreviated to initialism "EMS" in many countries) is a service providing out-of-hospital acute care and transport to definitive care, to patients with illnesses and injuries which the patient believes constitutes a medical emergency. . The number of structure fires decreased from 716 in 2002 to 627 in 2011, while first responder first responder First response personnel Emergency medicine A person employed in the public sector–EMT, fire fighter, police, volunteer EMS–whose duties include provision of immediate medical care in the event of an emergency; FRs have basic emergency and rescue calls shot up from 14,624 to 19,857 over the same period.
Emergency medical service workload for UMass Memorial EMS rose more than 30 percent from 2002 to 2011, while the average response time declined by 55 seconds, according to the report.
Contact Shaun Sutner by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CUTLINE: Violent crime rates for 10 largest NE cities
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