Crime in Southborough: Domestic complaints down, burglaries and larcenies up

The Metrowest Daily News ran a story yesterday comparing crime rates in Southborough last year to the previous year. While the overall crime rate in Southborough notched down about 9% — driven in large part by a significant reduction in domestic complaints from 2009 to 2010 — the town saw a notable increase in burglary and theft.

There were 73 burglaries and attempted burglaries reported last year in Southborough, a 135% increase over the 31 reported in 2009. Likewise, larcenies rose 73% from 41 in 2009 to 71 in 2010. (What’s the difference between burglary and larceny? Read this.)

Those of you who remember the string of home break-ins last fall probably aren’t surprised by those numbers. In the midst of that burglary spree, police officials said they had increased patrols in affected neighborhoods, but Police Chief Jane Moran told the MWDN yesterday that officers last year spent more time reacting to crime and less time working to prevent it.

“We’re not out there patrolling the neighborhood as we once were,” she said.

A suspect was ultimately arrested in the string of burglaries, and in their 2010 annual report, the Southborough Police Department reports they were able to recover $60K in items stolen in Southborough.

In addition to break-ins and thefts, Southborough also saw a sharp increase in drug law offenses last year, with drug crimes just about doubling. Some of that may be the result of a bylaw passed by Town Meeting last year that imposed fines for public consumption of marijuana.

Countering the rise in other crimes, there were significantly fewer domestic crimes and disturbances reported last year. Domestic complaints fell 61% after having spiked in 2009. Disturbances fell 55%.

Violent crimes were minimal in 2010 with one robbery and five assaults reported. There were no murders or kidnappings. Three sexual crimes were reported.

Statistics from the annual report show the police logged over 10,000 incidents in 2010, the majority of which were building or patrol checks (46%), traffic violations (24%), and burglar alarm calls (7%).

Only about 4% of the incidents were crimes against people or property. Here’s how it broke down (click to enlarge):

(click to enlarge)

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Southside Gadsden Flyer
11 years ago

I appreciate the Chief telling the world that SPD is not patrolling our neighborhoods.

M
11 years ago

Susan,
I went to the link WhatHappensNow for the definitions of burglary vs. larceny. What an interesting website. One can get all of their disaster preparedness there, if they cannot attend the class in Southborough next week. Thank you for the site. Just one more great way that you are keeping me informed. Thanks for all you do.

Jimmy
11 years ago

Thank you for posting the chart. It seems very odd to see a jump in domestic crime from roughly 50 in 2008 to 155 in 2009 then back down to 60 in 20010.

Anna
11 years ago

This was a good article, Thanks.

@Southside- wow what a catch. Chief Moran- we don’t patrol our neighborhoods? What are you trying to do to us? To your department? Chief Moran should really understand the implications of quotes like that. Let’s let the criminals know the Southborough is easy pickings, and backhand the citizens of the town in one foul swoop by implying that she does not have the resources. She never misses an opportunity to lobby for her department, but really? Maybe this was her opportunity to complain to the citizens of Southborough, but perhaps the funds used to buy more new cruisers is better spent on payroll? Kind of a thanks but no thanks for our support of the department at town meeting?

Living the Dream
11 years ago

Not a smart move on Moran’s part but then again, there have been so many unsmart moves on her part. Somebody please remind me why she got the job of over the other candidates? All she has done is lobby for wasting more money and tell the world that we don;t resources to keep our town safe. Why don;t just put an open invitation in the paper for all criminals to come to our town for their crimes because we just won’t stop them. Bill Webber she is not!

mom of two
11 years ago

More from MWDN…

Moran said one of the contributing factors to those rises could be that the department hasn’t been able to do as much preventative policing as she would like because of budget cuts.

“We’re not out there patrolling the neighborhood as we once were,” she said, and officers have been forced to spend more time reacting to crime and less time trying to prevent it.

***
It may be true but it’s not a smart thing to announce to Metrowest criminals reading the paper! Geez. I hope some other Southborough citizens see that and complain about the non-PR-saavy – and unsafe – statement!

Living the dream
11 years ago
Reply to  mom of two

Who would we complain to. The BOS will not listen, the Town Administrator will not listen. It is almost like they just don’t care. We need to move to a new town government. Does anyone know where we stand on that? I know it was talked about a while back but it hasn’t been in the spotlight lately with all the budget stuff.

Living the dream
11 years ago
Reply to  susan

Thanks Susan, I missed town meeting this year because of a family emergency.

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