Report: Violent crime dropped in city in '08

NASHUA – New crime statistics appear to show that violent crime decreased last year, but police aren’t claiming any such thing . . . yet.

The police department on Friday released its 2008 annual report, which includes crime statistics showing that the total number of crimes against persons – homicide, robbery, kidnapping and assaults of all kinds – dropped from 2,139 in 2007 to 1,971 in 2008.

Despite the apparent good news, crime analyst Dawn Reeby cautioned that the change is not statistically significant, because it’s within the normal range for the past several years.

In fact, 2008’s number is 4 percent higher than the average of the previous three years, despite being lower than each of the previous two years – a total of 1,405 person crimes in 2005 dragged down the average.

Still, Uniform Crime Report numbers for the city show a clear downward trend, and police officials are optimistic that violent crime is heading in the right direction, said Capt. Scott Howe.

>>Read the report<< The figures in the department's annual report are from the National Incident Based Reporting System, or NIBRS. NIBRS data is used to generate the better-known Uniformed Crime Reports, but the two systems count crime differently, and can't be compared directly. UCR numbers for 2008 are not yet available. The 2008 report also shows, among other things, a drop in the number of motor vehicle accidents, from 4,001 in 2007 to 3,667 last year, which police believe is a result of increased traffic enforcement (also reflected in the report). The 2008 report is available in the "Crime Reports" section, under "Crime Analysis" on the department's Web site, The 2007 report also remains available, in a separate area under, "Department Info." The Telegraph will be taking a closer look at Nashua and regional crime statistics in a story this Sunday.