NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — In the 2023 Crime Report released by the New Bedford Police Department, violent crime in the city continued to decline and is now down 58 percent over the past decade.

The 2023 Crime Report is a data-driven annual New Bedford crime analysis that follows the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. It tracks a notable decline in various crime categories.

Report Findings:

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

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The NBPD said it 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.

It also validates the department's efforts to react quickly and forcefully when criminal activity rises 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.

"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."

The 2023 Crime Report reflects the collaborative endeavors of law enforcement agencies, local organizations, and engaged citizens in fostering a safer environment.

READ MORE: Read the NBPD's 2023 Crime Report

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