Law Enforcement

Most Crimes Unsolved Despite Rate Drop

The Boise PD has provided us with their ANNUAL REPORT presentation to the mayor and council touting the drop in crime and a generally positive report.

Any way you cut it, Chief Mike Masterson and his troops can be proud of 37% less crime.
As the GUARDIAN is wont to do (for you non-library types that is “in the habit of”), we look at things from little a different perspective. The most glaring conclusion is that 79% of all crime goes unsolved!

Here are some random musings we gleaned from the report:

–Boise people like to kill each other more each year–the murder rate has jumped along with domestic violence. No stats available for the number of happy families.

–Cops work harder on these crimes of violence, solving about 89% of the murders and more than 58% of major assaults.

–With 92% of all burglaries UNSOLVED, that means there are a lot of crooks out there who have little fear of getting caught.

–There are about 30% more cops than 10 years ago.

–Boise City limits have expanded the equivalent of a mile wide strip from Boise to
Caldwell…about 18 square miles.

–Downtown crime prevention efforts working with bar owners and other businesses have paid off.

–On the down side, MOST of downtown is either in an urban renewal district, a park, BSU campus, hospital campus, or city-county-state complex. Very little tax revenue generated to pay for the intense police services…the rest of us make up the difference.

Masterson concedes that burglaries and other “crimes against property” are low priority. He feels businesses and property owners need to be proactive in protecting their possessions. Locking doors, increased exterior lighting, alarm technology all play a role in stopping thieves.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I have no beef with Boise Police. I agree that more focus should be on crimes of violence than property. Property theft mostly happens when the opportunity is there. I have had 2 thefts from my property and both times were crimes of opportunity. Lesson learned- lock it up.

    Did the report indicate the success of community education and policing in the schools and other organizations?

  2. As a Veteran’s Park Neighborhood resident, I see a lot of petty property crime especially along the greenbelt in the Pleasanton spur area. I would like to thank the BPD bicycle patrol for taking the complaints of area residents seriously. I’ve noticed the increased presence. And no, guardian, we’re not in an urban renewal district, yet.

    What I want to know, is who decides the “priority.” How do I get that job? Is it the Mayor and/or city council? Is it Chief Masterson?

    I’ve included a couple of pics of some of the more expensive vandalism to Boise Parks and Rec property. The first dock at Quinn’s Pond, aka the Clocktower Pond has been repeatedly vandalized since it was installed in the summer of 2006.

    Here’s a frustrating thing about our city government. I spoken to numerous people at Parks and Rec about the vandalism at the pond. With respect to the graffiti, do you think one of them would have contacted their very own volunteer coordinator? NO! Molly Holt, are you listening? The graffiti on the railing at the dock has been there for months and nobody has bothered to paint it over, even though you’ve been informed of it (the graffiti).

    The Sur 13 graffiti is gang graffiti and not simple tagger stuff. Anyway, Parks and Rec volunteer coordinator Jerry Pugh has promised they would take care of it. Let’s see how long it takes.

    The point is, if you see any vandalism at any of the Parks, report it to Jerry Pugh, PH: 384-4060 ext. 319, not to Molly Holt.

    EDITOR NOTE–Many thanks for the photos. We encourage EVERYONE to send images to illustrate comments.

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 1, 2008, 12:56 pm

    If the the cops can’t or won’t push the investigation of theft and burglary crimes higher up on their priority list, perhaps the legislators (state, county or city) should increase the jail terms for such crimes.

    I guess I should follow the link to the actual report before commenting, (like that’s ever stopped me before), but I do know that I favor, on the traffic enforcement side of things, higher priority for stopping red-light runners, and if it means lower priority for catching speeders, that’s OK. I understand that the cops can’t do everything.

    EDITOR NOTE–With 1 in every 34 Idaho males in some sort of jail, you need to look at a massive prison construction program to have a place for all the bad guys! That’s 3 times tha national average.

  4. Good basic report their BG, but I think your painting the wrong picture by implying that they don’t work very hard on non violent crimes.

    Violent crimes usually have witnesses (even if its the victim or the victims body), usually there is a percievable motive, there is typically more evidence, and generally speaking violent criminals are (or will be) repeat offenders and therefore will eventually show up on the radar again (if they haven’t already.

    I think its also appropriate to note why most petty crime is unsolved, they usually involve not a lot of hard evidence that leads to a specific perp, are unwitnessed, many are “victim less” (unless you count the city or public property as the victim) and involve difficult to track items.

    Not that petty crime isnt important. It is a great marker for other types of crime and criminal presense. But its not fair to imply that officers turn a blind eye or don’t care. These types of crime are different animals with different challenges and approaches are required. Thats where the community policing and such comes into play, and I am happy to say that I like the Boise community police officers I have had contact with outside of the job. Called in a complaint once at 3 AM, not only were the Patrol officers on it promptly (wich I expected) but a community police officer assigned to my neighborhood called me back at 0330 am! Now I was already back on my way to lala land so I was doubly shocked, but hey, they are doing their job!

    EDITOR NOTE–The police appreciate your support and confidence in their abilities. You always have a back up job working for the local media or grinding out press releases for public servants.

  5. Didn’t NYC also work on the small crimes which kept the first time small criminals from being second or third, etc time big criminals?

  6. Yes they did, but again, they encountered many of the same difficulties I cited above. Did they make a dent? Yes. It would be more useful to compare BPD’s petty crime statistic to a national database for similar sized cities.

    Im not saying that they arnt important, only that they are a different animal to track, and prosecute.

    Therefore an apple to apples (petty crime to violent crime)is not possible, and any comparison is at best an oversimplification or downright misleading.
    This is true for positive and negative statistics.

    Simply sppeaking from a distant recollection of my criminal justice, sociology, and related classes.

  7. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 4, 2008, 7:55 pm

    Dave, since you seem to have time to pursue statistics, how many of the 1 in 34 male Idahoans in some sort of jail are there for possession of pot, a victimless crime (IMO)? They should all be released.

    And just because the jails are crowded, doesn’t mean we should give up on putting more real criminals behind bars.

    I am an honest citizen and believe that we honest people deserve better than to have criminals let loose on society after serving some amount of time and given second chances that criminals (in general) have demonstrated time and time again that they do not deserve.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rod, we did some checking in Ada County last year and by far the vast majority of inmates were there for various contempt of court, violation of probation, failure to appear, fail to pay fines, etc. Like credit card users, once they get hooked into the system they can’t seem to make responsible decisions.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: