Skip to content
Apply
Stories

Homicides down in Boston and in Massachusetts overall in 2021

People in this story

WBUR, December 2021

Many big cities across the country have seen unprecedented increases in homicides this year. But the numbers are actually down in the largest cities in Massachusetts. Boston recorded 39 homicides as of Dec. 20. That’s down more than 26% from last year’s total of 53. Also seeing declines were Worcester (seven homicides this year, compared to nine last year) and Springfield (14 this year; 18 last year).

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, president of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association, said it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why the numbers are down. “It’s hard to tell,” he said. “Where are they occurring? Who are the victims or the suspects? Really, just kind of getting all that data together.” Some smaller cities and towns across the state have seen increases. Chelsea didn’t have any homicides last year. But as of mid-December this year, it recorded two. Statewide, 148 people were killed through Dec. 20, down 7% from last year. That statewide total is less than some individual cities in other parts of the country. Columbus has seen more than 190 homicides; Indianapolis has had more than 260.

Ramiro Martinez, a homicide researcher and criminology professor at Northeastern University, cited one potential reason why the homicide rate might be lower in Massachusetts: more recent immigrants.

Continue reading at WBUR.

More Stories

Painted portrait of Charles Ignatius Sancho, the first British man of African descent to vote in a general election.

Sancho’s Songbook

05.15.2024
Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox stands at a podium during a press conference. (Photo by Michael Jonas)

ShotSpotter in the cross hairs

05.15.2024
image of main character actors from baby reindeer

How ‘Baby Reindeer’ reflects (and fails to show) realities of stalking, according to a criminology professor

05.16.24
All Stories