Police in Massachusetts say they believe that the increase in car break-ins, burglaries, scams, larcenies, and domestic violence crimes throughout the state can be attributed to the recent economic crisis. For example, the Boston Globe is reporting that in:
• Lawrence, Massachusetts: Burglaries have already increased by 52% compared to last year.
• Lowell, Massachusetts: There has been a 21% increase in thefts and larcenies, as well as an increase in fraud cases.
• Hingham, Massachusetts: Between October 2008 through February 2009, there were 57 reports of domestic violence-related crimes (up from 35 domestic violence incidents the year prior).
• Boston, Massachusetts: While large crimes are down throughout the city, certain areas have seen an increase in robberies, thefts, and burglaries.
• Between January 1 through March 1, 2009, the Suffolk district attorney’s office assessed 256 child abuse cases, which is almost twice the number of cases reported for the same period in 2008.
According to police, loss of work, loss of income, foreclosures, and loss of quality of life may be leading to desperation, frustration, anger, stress, arguments and fights between couples and business partners, drinking, and drugs.
Police departments throughout Massachusetts are also reporting some unusual crimes that could be a further reflection of the tough times that people are facing:
• A Ludlow bank was robbed two times in a little over a year in a town that hadn’t experienced a bank robbery in 20 years.
• In Hingham, one man was accused of assaulting his spouse after he was laid off from work.
• One Quincy theft crime that occurred last December involved robbers taking three snowplow blades.
• Domestic violence programs throughout Massachusetts are reporting an increase in the number of battered women asking for help.
It doesn’t help that the economic crisis is forcing police departments to cut back on budgets, which means there are less resources and staff to deal with the increase in Massachusetts crimes.
Economy fuels rise in crime, police say, Boston.com, March 10, 2009
Massachusetts Crime Rates 1960 – 2007, Disaster Center
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts State Police
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