Yes, Virginia, Worcester is Pretty Safe

I’d been a bit bothered by this article, and the lack of comparison to other cities of similar size.  I was inspired to look a little bit at other cities’ crime stats:

  Worcester Providence Hartford
Murder 7 24 33
Rape n/a 46 56
Robbery 425 426 603
Agg. Assault 2847 n/a 927
Burglary 1721 1847 1145
Larceny 2483 5185 4160
Auto Theft 786 1100 1011
Arrests 7189 n/a 16433
Shooting Incidents 17 n/a 178
Sworn Officers 330ish n/a 460

The Hartford statistics are from this great webpage.  (Please compare to the Worcester statistics site, which has not been updated in a year.)  It’s unclear whether “sworn officers” includes all or just those actively patrolling.

The Providence statistics are from this Projo article.  Worcester’s are from this T&G article, because the agenda attachments aren’t up on the city website.  Two items of interest:

1) Worcester has a lot fewer shooting incidents than Hartford, but it’s unclear how many stabbing incidents there are in either Hartford or Providence.

2) Seriously, the crime statistics page for Hartford is awesome.  It just goes to show that you don’t need to make use of fancy tools like CrimeReports to inform your citizens.  Hartford is just putting together data that they already send to the FBI and making it available to their residents.  Why aren’t we?

(When that FBI site is updated for all of 2009, it would be interesting to continue the comparison and include Springfield.)

Deed Rock/God’s Acre, of interest

Just a friendly reminder that we’ll be having an Earth Day cleanup for God’s Acre/Swan Avenue on Saturday, May 1 from 8am to noon followed by pizza.  If you can’t make it to the whole thing, come for as long as you can.  If you want to show up really early, my husband and I will probably be out there starting at 6am to take care of a few isolated areas.  I’ve put together a map for how to get to the cleanup from Mill Street.

Also, I’ve been trying to do some research on the web to put together a brochure on God’s Acre (to accompany a more detailed trail map) — though I know that eventually I’ll have to go to the Worcester Room to do more research.

So, here’s a list of T&G articles you might enjoy (and might need a library card number for):

October 11, 1991: a completely wonderful Jim Dempsey column on God’s Acre.

June 10, 1992: yet another completely wonderful Jim Dempsey column about Solomon Parsons.

June 15, 1994: and still another great Jim Dempsey column on the area.

October 16, 1995: brief mention of Solomon Parsons in an article about the cider mill parcel.

October 26, 1997: The city’s then-marketing director, Kevin O’Sullivan, sees God’s Acre and says, “Just look at this. The idea that all the economic development is downtown isn’t the complete picture. No other city can offer this. This is product,” he said, referring to the potential for outdoor experiences offered by the trail.

July 22, 1999: an REC-led walk for inner city kids, featuring wild blueberries.

May 26, 2002: discussion of how the city could reduce illegal dumping in the area by the excellent Roger Leo.  After this article was published, the city did close off part of Paris Avenue, and that was cleaned up last year.