Boston has already endured more murders this year than in all of 2015, according to police.
Despite the increase, Boston Police Lt. Michael McCarthy said the city is “the safest it’s been in decades.”
By November of last year there were 33 murders citywide. The number of homicides has already reached 40 in 2016 — a 20 percent increase.
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But despite the uptick, McCarthy said violent crime is still at the lowest levels the city has seen in years.
Boston hit a record-low murder rate last year with 38, McCarthy said. Overall, crime is down. Assaults, rapes and robberies are down by 7 percent this year after dropping 9 percent between 2014 and 2016. Violent crime as a whole, which includes homicide, is down 5 percent from last year, also continuing a downward trend.
“With continuous declines in violent and overall… crime over the past several years, the city of Boston is the safest it’s been in decades,” McCarthy said in an email.
Shootings are also at a five-year low. There have been 206 shootings this year to date — including both fatal and nonfatal incidents. That’s 16 less than the department’s five-year average of 222 annually.
McCarthy did notice a change in the time of year that crimes occur. In July and August of 2015 Boston had a total of 76 shootings compared to just 51 during that same time this year. October and November saw 26 shootings in 2015. This year there were 40 incidents over those two months.
“What we experienced was a shift in when incidents occurred, not an uptick in violence,” McCarthy said.