Pittsfield: Property Crimes High; Violent Crime Down
Staff Reports On: 04:19PM / Monday July 21, 2014
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Typically in May, the city's police force sees an average of 15 aggravated assault cases. This year, it saw none.
That statistic highlights a shrinking level of violent crime in Pittsfield. However, property crime is still pacing at an above-average rate.
According to the city's May CityStat report, property crime was 28 percent higher than the average for that month over the last five years. Property crimes this year are on pace to be 17 percent more than in 2013.
The silver lining is that while the city is pacing ahead of previous years, the pace has slowed since April.
"Compared to last month’s report, with the exception only of larceny from motor vehicles and persons, each category has shown significant improvement. In April, only one category showed a better-than-average result, and this month, 3 categories have," reads the most recently published report.
In April, the city was trending to see a 91 percent increase in shoplifting but that dropped in May to 50 percent. Larceny from buildings were 60 percent higher in April than last year at that time but now those numbers have reversed (from 16 to 6) and are looking to be 50 percent lower than the five-year average.
"Unfortunately, the rash of burglaries that started in April continued through May, bringing our burglary and motor vehicle larceny cases up from last month," reads the report.
Larceny from a motor vehicle is trending 125 percent more than the five-year average - up from 44 to 57 during five-month period. Burglaries in May were even higher than in April by 36 percent, uo from 44 to 60.
While property crimes continue to hold steady at above-average rates, violent crime is pacing at the lowest rate in the last five years. So far in 2014, police have responded to 34 cases of violent crime — down 35 percent from the 52 that officers responded to at this point in 2013.
Only four cases of violent crime have been reported in May — two rapes, an arson and a robbery. Both robbery and rape are trending above last year's totals but still at a rate 50 percent less than the five-year average.
"Consistent with the past several months, rape and robbery cases have shown increases since last year, but not compared to the five-year average. All other areas have either shown no change or a change for the better across the board," the report reads. "The most impressive change that can be seen is in the amount of aggravated assault cases. The average number of aggravated assaults for the month of May is 15. This May, we had 0 aggravated assaults. Moreover, Pittsfield is down 82 percent this year compared to last year for aggravated assault."
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