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.)

6 thoughts on “Yes, Virginia, Worcester is Pretty Safe

  1. Joe says:

    At the last Neighborhood Watch I attended, I seem to recall that the officer said that the statistician for the WPD had been laid off- or some portion of that staff maybe?

    In the past, we would get crime summaries for our area, but I haven’t seen one in months.

    That said, if this data is available to the statistician, how big of an effort would it be to convert it to a web-consumable format?

    I don’t know.

    • Nicole says:

      Well, the CrimeReports tool is something that Boston uses, and I think you just upload data to them (not sure of the format) and they put it in an easy-to-navigate, Google-map-type thing. (Again, not sure how much it costs, either.)

      Since we report these details to the FBI on a regular basis, though, I would assume that the same data could be posted on the web. I also think that it would be nothing but a PR boon to the WPD.

      • t-traveler says:

        are you concerned that the city reports data to the FBI

        • Nicole says:

          You mean on a political level?

          I don’t know. On one hand, it’s really nice to have data right at your fingertips, so that you can see how Springfield compares to Worcester, etc. So that’s the selfish statistics junkie talking.

          I was going to write an “on the other hand”, but this data is public data and should belong to the public, and I suppose that includes the FBI…

  2. W. W. Will says:

    Wrong Joe.

    The WPD is in the midst of a system conversion – for the last SIX months!

    It’s not a priority for the WPD. But what is? Just pay raises.

  3. t-traveler says:

    the police are presenting the data anecdotally at the Big Read, until now I could not understand the connection between Poe and Worcester but now I see that Roger Steele is the glue

    Click to access Thursday%20final%203.pdf

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