For the fourth straight year, the number of homicides in Boston is on track to fall, this time sharply, and violent crime continues to decline, officials said Monday.
By Monday, there were 40 homicides in Boston, 18 fewer than last year. The reasons given varied, from more focused police work and aggressive prosecution of offenders with guns to better medical care for victims.
Despite that encouraging news, the almost-year-end statistics reveal a troubling reality: Although police continue to confiscate guns, the street supply remains steady enough for overall gun violence to continue unabated. The number of 2013 shootings by Dec. 22 is almost exactly what it was last year, 246. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Globe correspondent Jackie Tempera contributed to this report. Maria Cramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.