NEW BRITAIN - Murders are up, but the number of car thefts, sexual assaults and burglaries are down.
The number of serious crimes in nearly every category remained about the same in 2017 as it was in 2016, according to figures released by Police Chief James Wardwell.
Overall the city, like the state and nation, has seen a downward trend in the number of serious crimes in recent years, Wardwell said. “We’re holding with the trend and we have minor fluctuations but we’re going to continue all of our efforts including partnering with neighborhoods, pro-active activities, and community activities,” he said. “Our goal is to reach every part of the city to promote public safety and protect life and property.”
The crime statistics are reported monthly to the state police as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Unless otherwise noted, the figures represent reported crimes and do not reflect the number of arrests made during the same period.
New Britain saw four murders in 2017, including a man who shot and killed his estranged wife and a roommate who killed a North Street man over a dispute involving a birthday cake. Arrests were made in the two cases which are considered domestic violence, Wardwell said. Another man was shot to death on Park Street after he stepped outside of a birthday party and a fourth man was found dead in his Tremont Street apartment. No arrests have been made in those cases.
The number of rapes by force was down from 50 in 2016 to 39 in 2017. The number of robberies is up from 73 in 2016 to 90 in 2017. The city was plagued with nearly a dozen robberies from late November to mid-December. The number of robberies with a firearm increased slightly from 17 in 2016 to 22 in 2017.
At the same time, the number of assaults with a firearm was down from 15 in 2016 to 6 in 2017. Overall serious assaults involving injuries, including assaults with a knife or cutting instrument and assaults with a dangerous weapon, were up from 99 in 2016 to 136 in 2017. Simple assaults were down slightly from 577 in 2016 to 562 in 2017.
Larcenies were up slightly from 1,269 in 2016 to 1,315 in 2016. But burglaries and car thefts were both down. There were 352 burglaries in 2017 compared to 408 burglaries in 2016. Motor vehicle thefts including cars, buses, trucks and other vehicles, were down from 480 in 2016 to 380 in 2017.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.