(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
The number of homicides, robberies, and assaults in South Boston have increased this year, even as police step up patrols in the neighborhood because of concern over crime, according to data released by the Boston Police Department.
As of July 1, four people have been killed in the neighborhood in 2012, compared with no homicides by this time last year, according to Boston Police Department statistics.
The department says that overall crime in the city and South Boston is down, despite the spike in the number of violent crimes and property crimes, and data released by BPD shows that overall crime in the seaside neighborhood, as of July 1, is down eight-percent.
Local elected officials and law enforcement have said they are stepping up efforts to confront the growing concerns about drugs and violence in the neighborhood, holding two public meetings, one in May and one in June.
The department has also been conducting sweeps of the neighborhood, rounding up those wanted on warrants.
Many residents in the neighborhood have vowed to take South Boston back and have been pushing initiatives such as the “We Are Watching” group, to help stimulate communication between neighbors and to let criminals know residents are standing up.
But numbers continue to increase.
According to BPD, there were 53 robberies and attempted robberies in the area so far this year, a slight increase from the 44 seen at this time last year.
Burglaries and attempted burglaries have also seen an uptick with 103 reported so far this year, compared to the 92 reported this time last year.
The neighborhood has also seen an increase in aggravated assaults, with 85 reported this year compared to the 75 reported at this time last year.
Reports of rape and attempted rape have also climbed slightly, with eight reported this year and six reported at this time last year.
Reports of larceny and attempted larceny, however, have dropped, with 484 reported so far in 2012 compared to the 560 reported at this time last year.
Vehicle theft and attempted vehicle theft has also dropped significantly compared to last year. As of July 1, there have been 38 reports, compared to the 68 at this time last year.
To determine overall crime in a district BPD combines all reports creating an overall number for the area. Compared to last year’s numbers a percentage is created. At this time last year there were 845 reports, compared to this year’s 775, 70 down from last year, an eight-percent change.
BPD also tracks “firearm related arrests”, which for the city overall are down this year, according to the department.
At this time in 2011 there were 234 arrests. This year there have been 167 arrest related to firearms.