Random incidents aside, Peabody is safe community when it comes to crime

4 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

ppdA shooting last night on Washington Street has sparked a debate in the comments section of an article in the Peabody Patch this morning, causing people to momentarily lose their minds and start comparing Peabody to Lynn and Chelsea when it comes to violent crime.

But please, can we take a deep breath right now and realize that actual crime statistics show that Peabody remains one of the safest cities in the state? Oh sure, things aren’t perfect here in our little berg. There is a drug problem for sure, and some infamous recent examples of how we definitely are  not Mayberry, NC.

As just one citizen, I would like to see Mayor Ted Bettencourt address the issue of drugs and crime when he makes his state of the city mid-term address on Monday night at Wiggin Auditorium. But crime, which is on the rise everywhere, isn’t rampant Peabody right now.

Don’t take that as my opinion. Look at the facts, actual crime statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  FBI crime statistics show that Peabody has a fairly low crime rate for a city of its size. In 2011, there were 2.4 violent crimes per 1,000 citizens.

In Beverly the number was 2.31, while it’s 2.25 per 1,000 in Danvers, and Salem was at 2.86.

Comparing Peabody to places such as Lynn and Chelsea when it comes to violent crime, as was done this morning in the Patch, is ridiculous and outrageous. In Lynn, according to the FBI data, there were 8.85 violent crimes per citizen in 2011 (more than three times Peabody’s crime rate), while in Chelsea it was a whopping 17.43.

By most indicators (actual statistics), Peabody is a fairly safe place to live when it comes to crime.  Is it perfect? Of course not, and it would definitely be good to see the mayor come up with a vision for cleaning up our drug problem, which definitely exists.

But come on,  people!  When you look at the real facts, we should be secure to know that we live in a fairly safe community.

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10 Responses to “Random incidents aside, Peabody is safe community when it comes to crime”

  1. Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Yeah, right, try living downtown Mr. Croce. Love it when West Peabody snobs talk about how safe the city is. They should walk around in our shoes.

  2. Bob Croce January 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I never wrote that things were wonderful downtown. They’re not. I’m simply quoting FBI data, which reveals that Peabody — relative to most other communities of its size — is a fairly safe community overall when it comes to violent crime. Of course there is less crime where I live in Peabody, but then again there was also a recent drug bust not far from my house.

    There are also signs for sure that we need to definitely think about more crime prevention, including strategies for lessening the drug problem in the city. It is definitely time to be proactive to head off higher crime rates.

    But right now, we are NOT Chelsea. We are NOT Lynn or Lawrence. We are a relatively safe community. Not as safe as some small towns in the middle of nowhere, but when you consider Peabody’s economic diversity and larger population, we’re doing more than OK when it comes to providing an overall safe community for our citizens.

    • Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      FBI data like all police statistics are flawed from the begining. Police officers have a lot of discretion and what they charge you with vs what you actually did vary a lot. They may only charge them with one crime out of multiple offense at the same time or they may even just let them walk because its not worth the paperwork. There are a lot of laws that are not properly enforced most likely because leadership does not have the appetite to pursue it and waste resources. With regards to us being safer, that is a croc…There are some very high crime areas in the downtown area.

      BTW law enforcement cannot stop drug use. You can arrest them but if there is no will in the person then they will not stop using. Locking someone up will never stop the use. It all has to do with where you come from and I know there will be arguments like Allison or others that came from good families. But the reality is that the stronger the family values are the less likely there will be use and abuse…BTW there were some in city council that wanted to truly turn us into Lynn and Lawrence when they attempted to rezone for housing over the businesses in downtown. That would have made it a pit of section 8 housing…

  3. the Outfront Guy* January 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    OG says…I would have to agree with our esteemed Editor on this point….but Teflon Ted should never take his eye of the ball…drug problems are around…what ever happened to the old DARE program that used to be in place ? Money right?

  4. Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Why do people have to be so negative? I agree with Bob here to. I live downtown and have for 10 years and I feel safe walking around at night to be completely honest. You need to just use commonsense and be aware of your surroundings sometimes just like you do in any other place nowadays.

  5. anon January 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    How about a parent in West Peabody who allows 5 minors to drink at their house on New Years eve and one almost dies from alcohol poisoning. Morons live in West Peabody as well as the downtown.

  6. the Outfront Guy* January 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    OG says…who is on here claiming that West Peabody is like a quiet hamlet on the English countryside ? maybe I have missed something but downtown Peabody seems to be about the same as it’s been for the last 15 years….talk about being stuck in a time warp…and for those who claim that Peabody is a very DIVERSE city I have to disagree on that….while I don’t have statistics to support this view with data I don’t see much diversity at all around here…we have a small hispanic population but an even smaller black and asian population…we are really pretty Caucasian here in Bright City ! Sure there are some drug issues and there have been for some time now..this is nothing new here…

  7. Jay January 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    I have lived in Peabody for about 15 months, close to downtown, and very close to the location of Thursday’s shooting. Overall, while there have been random acts of violence since we have moved here, I feel safe about 100% of the time. One of the previous commentors is right in saying that you need to be aware of your surroundings if you’re walking around. I walk around downtown, even late at night sometimes, and if you follow this advice, you’re not going to get shot.

    Thank you Bob Croce for being a voice of reason here. I commute to work in Lawrence every day and read the news for that city as well. The two cities are not even close in comparison when it comes to crime, both based on my personal judgement and when you look at FBI crime statistics.

    I agree with the general sentiment that Peabody has its fair share of crime, but like in life, don’t get yourself into bad situations and you won’t become a victim. I don’t have any problem with living Peabody, in fact, I quite enjoy it and plan to say awhile. After all, Peabody was ranked #14 on Forbes’ list of most livable cities:

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/01/cities-city-ten-lifestyle-real-estate-livable-cities_slide_3.html

  8. Bob Croce January 5, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Welcome to Peabody, Jay. Excellent comments here. I hope you decide to stay here. Some exciting, positive things are starting to happen again for our community.

  9. anon January 7, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I know property owners have the right to do what they wish, but sometimes pure greed gets in the way. The property that the shooting occurred at has a great business but the space above it was unrentable because of a huge flight of stairs. The property owner petitions the city to change the law to allow apartments to be put in. Bingo and what do we get. Low income apartments with drug users and gun shots being fied. Sometimes you reap what you sow.

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