Boise Chief of Police Michael Masterson presented the city’s 2009 Statistical Crime Report to Mayor Bieter and the Boise City Council this afternoon.
The Chief announced:
2.6% drop in major crimes for Boise in 2009, including:
19.5% drop in reported rapes,
6% drop in burglaries,
2.4% drop in thefts
9.6% drop in car thefts.
Most people may be surprised that reported crime rates continues to decline as the conventional wisdom is that street crime increases during difficult economic times. So far, the data do not support that convention. One category of street crime that did increase in 2009 was commercial robberies. The report notes that a suspect was connected to a series of hotel robberies, which could account for some of the increase in this category.
One other note was the reported increase in domestic violence, which may be attributed to the pressures on relationships that result from the current recession. Another explanation is statistical regression - categories experience a regression toward the mean, which results in upward and downward trends.
Care should always be exhibited analyzing reported crime. In many categories, crimes are significantly under reported by the victims. But the continued downward trend in Boise is consistent with national trends (certain jurisdictions may reported increases) and is good news for those who live and work in the City of Trees.