Queen City Crime

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The number of robberies and burglaries were down significantly in Manchester last year.

That’s according to a preliminary year-end crime report released by the department this morning.

Robberies were down 21 percent in 2014, compared to the previous, while the city saw burglaries decline by 18 percent.

Cases of arson and sexual assault were down last year.

Manchester Police Department

Police in Manchester say an initiative launched this summer has helped to curb gang violence and gun-related crimes in the state’s largest city.

Officials from the department are scheduled to hold a press conference later today to discuss their efforts.

The department says the program led to the prosecution last week of a gang-related crime.

The program, titled “Awareness, Deterrence, and Outreach,” received initial funding through the United States Attorney’s Office-Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative.

Manchester Police Department

City officials in Manchester have shut down three convenience stores they say were selling a dangerous form of a synthetic drug called spice.

Police have responded to several overdoses at inner-city parks this week from people smoking the substance.

Police say it’s a particular brand of spice being sold in the city that’s causing problems.

The department responded to nine overdoses on Tuesday, and more than 20 on Monday.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The Manchester Police Department swore in 14 new officers Monday morning.

It’s the city’s largest crop of new officers in recent years.

Ten men and four women were sworn in Monday.

(You can read the bios of the new officers here).

Police Chief David Mara says the new additions bring the department to 226 police officers total, still far below the 265 he says a city the size of Manchester needs.

Over the last few months, NHPR’s Newsroom has been examining the crime landscape in the city of Manchester. The series Queen City Crime comes to a close this week and All Things Considered host Brady Carlson interviews the lead reporter for the series, NHPR’s Ryan Lessard, to hear what he learned.


Anatomy Of A Murder

Sep 20, 2013
Lewiston Sun

Manchester has seen four homicides so far this year. That’s twice the city’s annual average of two, but police say these types of violent crimes are often anomalies, making it difficult to call this year’s spike a trend, and only one of this year’s cases remains unsolved.

As part of our Queen City Crime series, we examine the anatomy of how these homicides are solved by taking a closer look at a 1999 case that proved to be one of the most taxing investigations ever undertaken by the Manchester Police Department.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The latest in our series, Queen City Crime, is a story about Manchester’s struggle to prevent violent crime through urban planning and social services. Rising poverty in the city has made an uphill battle for police and nonprofits working together to stem crime at the source.


Sara Plourde / NHPR

Law enforcement officials use myriad tools to help them work better, faster, and smarter. These tools have changed greatly over time, as needs shifted and technology advanced. This graphic outlines some of the most significant changes in the tools of policing of the 19th and 20th centuries.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

More than 100 people turned out for a community meeting on crime in Manchester Thursday evening.

Many expressed frustration over the rise in crime and pressed police for answers on how they’re working to make the city safer.

Longtime resident Doris Ploss says she’s never seen her city like this.

“Manchester’s changed an awful lot, with all the crime and the drugs. We didn’t have that. It’s very bad.”

She lives on the west side and, like many over the summer, was a victim of burglary.

Designed by Sara Plourde. Data courtesy of the Manchester Police Department.

Burglaries tend to increase in the warmer weather, but Manchester saw its numbers spike significantly in the recent summer months.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there were 338 burglaries in the city, a 23 percent increase over the same period last year.

The man who showed up at her front door one day in July seemed like a Godsend to 94-year-old Lorraine Fitzgerald.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Manchester police have seized the largest amount of heroin in the city’s history.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  In our Queen City Crime series, we’ve been looking at violent crime, drugs and burglaries but one issue the police deal with on a daily basis is unruly kids. And it often centers on Manchester’s skate park.


Sheryl Rich-Kern

Close to 3000 refugees have arrived in Manchester in the last decade, many from the war-torn regions of Somalia, Sudan and Iraq.  Another 200 are expected to arrive in the city this fall.

Police in Manchester are dealing with the effects of a rising rate of prescription drug abuse. But it's not the only part of New Hampshire seeing the problem.

To learn more about the state's approach to curbing abuse of prescription drugs, All Things Considered host Brady Carlson talks with Dr. Seddon Savage, who serves on the state's Call to Action prescription drug task force. That multidisciplinary group is developing New Hampshire's prescription drug monitoring program.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With any black market, it's impossible to track the full extent of its reach. One way to estimate the relative quantity of various drugs in the city is to track undercover drug buys and seizures by the police department. This system of measurement, however, is an imperfect science; large busts (see: cocaine, 2009) skew numbers for a particular year, throwing off the curve, and budgetary and tactical considerations can restrict potential drug buys.

Courtesy of MPD

The abuse of prescription drugs and heroin in the city has been on the rise in the past decade. For police that means a rise in related crime and overdoses.


More and more, police are using social media as a way to connect directly to residents in their communities.

But the Manchester Police Department has yet to join the ranks of agencies on Facebook and other popular sites.

As the events of the Boston Marathon bombing unfolded and police hunted for the perpetrators, reporters turned to Twitter for the latest developments.

Their best source? The Boston Police Department.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A concentration of police resources are spent dealing with disturbances and crimes in and around the popular club scene in downtown Manchester. But it’s not as bad as it used to be. A crackdown on several problem clubs in the past decade have set an example for club owners today. 


Queen City Crime

Jul 17, 2013
examiner.com via Flickr Creative Commons

As part of NHPR's series on crime in Manchester, we sit down with police chief David Mara to discuss challenges facing the state's largest city and its police- from budget constraints to rising crimes associated with drug use. We'll also talk about police-community relations and how the force is learning to work with the city's immigrant communities.

GUESTS:

- David Mara, Police Chief of Manchester

CALL-OUTS:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

9:56: Mara says, “We need more police officers and we need to more of the community involved.” Says we need people to look out for each other. “We need to work together.” The department needs to do a better job, as well.

9:54: Mara says stats are kept on how many crimes are solved. For example, on robberies, we do much better than the national average. “You constantly have to assess what you’re doing.”  

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Part 1, also referred to as "index crimes," is a category of eight crimes laid out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as serious crimes likely to be reported. What sets Part 1 crimes apart, in particular, is the way they are tracked: Part 1 crimes are tracked based on how often they are reported, whereas Part 2 crimes - comprising just about all other crimes, such as drug offenses, white collar crime, and nuisance crimes like public drunkenness - are tracked based on arrests made.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

All this summer, NHPR’s newsroom will take a closer look at crime in Manchester and how it affects the city and its residents. We’re calling the series Queen City Crime. Today, we begin with a look at Manchester’s Police Department and how it balances small-city challenges with big-city problems. A renewed focus on community policing is helping the department solve some of its staffing issues.