City of New Bedford Police Department photo.

Report: New Bedford’s decade-long drop in crime continues

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In 2023, violent crime continued to decline in New Bedford and is now down 58% over the past decade, with property crime down 55% in the same period.

When we report a crime, assault, shooting, etc. it isn’t uncommon to see people comment saying, ‘Riiiiight. Crime is down.’ Why it isn’t obvious to people that ‘Crime is down.’ isn’t the same thing as saying ‘There’s no crime.” is puzzling.

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New Bedford, MA — In 2023, violent crime continued to decline in New Bedford and is now down 58% over the past decade, with property crime down 55% in the same period.

The drops over the last 10 years are reported in the New Bedford Police Department’s (NBPD) 2023 Crime Report, a data-driven annual analysis of crime in the city that follows the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Among the report’s findings:

• Violent Crime decreased 58% from 2014-2023 due to drastic drops in rape (-34%), robbery (-61%) and aggravated assault (-62%).
• Property crime decreased 55% over that time frame due to sharp drops in arson (-68%), burglary (-71%), and larceny (-57%).

“With the release of this report, we reaffirm our commitment to transparency and our dedication to the citizens of New Bedford,” Chief Paul Oliveira said. “I am encouraged by the city’s downward trajectory of crime rates. These statistics are a testament to the dedication and hard work of our officers and the support of our community partners.”


City of New Bedford Police Department photo.

The 2023 Crime Report reflects the collaborative endeavors of law enforcement agencies, local organizations, and engaged citizens in fostering a safer environment. The report tracks a notable decline in various crime categories, as the NBPD has continued to address the root causes of crime and build trust within the community through proactive engagement programs, innovative policing strategies, and effective law enforcement partnerships. The report underscores the importance of community involvement in crime prevention efforts, emphasizing the role of residents, businesses, and stakeholders in promoting a safer and more resilient New Bedford.

The report also validates the department’s efforts to react quickly and forcefully when criminal activity ticks upward in particular categories. For example, the “shots-fired” category rose in 2023 due to a gang-related spike late in the year. A proactive response to these incidents led to several arrests for firearms-related offenses, with shots-fired data returning to baseline levels.

Another example was motor vehicle theft, which rose in the second half of 2023 due to a nationwide viral social media “challenge” involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles.”-City of New Bedford Police Department.

You can download the entire report here.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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