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Crime rate drops during 2013

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The city saw a 24 percent drop in reported crime in 2013 from the previous year, according to Police Chief Brian Kyes. The reduction was seen in both violent crime, which fell 33 percent — despite an increase in murders from three to five — and property crimes, which were down 25 percent, according to Kyes. The overall number of reported crimes in 2013 was 1,650, down from 2,181 in 2012. Chelsea annually provides statistics on its crime activity to State Police, who in turn report them to the FBI. Kyes said the decrease in crimes was significant, noting that “ordinarily, if we increase or decrease it’s in the single digits.” He said a variety of police and community efforts probably contributed to the reduction. He particularly noted the work of a five-member street robbery task force that he created a year ago. He said the late-night unit made numerous arrests and through its presence helped prevent criminal activity, contributing to a 32 percent drop in robbery reports. Kyes also cited a state-funded initiative in which police and two community groups, Roca and the North Suffolk Mental Health Association, work with 17- to 24-year-old high-risk males in an attempt to steer them away from criminal activity and toward training, education, and employment.

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