Mayor Counters Claim City Crime Rate is Higher Than Average

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini outside Haverhill Police Station.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini is dismissing a national analysis of FBI data that says the city’s crime rate is “considerably higher than the national average” and “higher than 87 percent of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.”

The mayor responded crime is actually down over the past 15 years—and down in “very dramatic” ways during the last three years. He said it is inappropriate to compare Haverhill with suburban communities.

“It’s always misleading to compare us with wealthy communities that don’t have the problems we have.”

Haverhill’s crime numbers, based on 2015 FBI data—the newest available—were reported by NeighborhoodScout, an online platform created by Dr. Andrew Schiller, previously a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Atomic Energy Complex.

NeighborhoodScout reported Haverhill residents are subject to 25 crimes per 1,000 residents. When it comes to violent crime, however, NeighborhoodScout reports a resident’s chance of becoming a victim is one in 184. The company describes violent crime as rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon.

The company acknowledges the nearby City of Lawrence has a higher crime rate with 32 crimes per 1,000 residents. It reported, “Lawrence has a crime rate that is higher than 94 percent of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.” “In fact, after researching dangerous places to live, NeighborhoodScout found Lawrence to be one of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the U.S.A.,” the company said.

Fiorentini, who said he will discuss crime as part of his State of the City Address, provided his own analysis, showing crime is down—in all categories except two—from last year. The categories where crime dropped are forcible rape, robbery, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson. There was one murder in Haverhill in 2016 compared to none during the prior year and 47 more reports of assault. The number of assaults rose from 272 in 2015 to 319 last year, according to the mayor’s numbers.

Total crime, however, dropped 1,811 reports in 2015 to 1,616 last year, the mayor said.

“We can’t be compared to suburbs where there is very few people and almost no crime. We had a steady and solid drop in crime.”

FBI’s 2016 won’t be available until later this year.

Haverhill City Council President John A. Michitson told WHAV he would not comment on FBI data until he has had a chance to review it. He did use the opportunity, though, to push his contention the city council must have a “workshop” with police at budget time. He listed the objectives of such a meeting.

“Try to determine what the data means, where the problems are in the city, where we fall short in providing resources and then talk about the possible solutions.”

Michitson said the mayor has agreed to hold such workshops—beginning with a review of the public works department. The council president noted the public has a great interest in public safety.

“That was clearly the highest priority at the citizens’ outreach meeting that we had.”

Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro referred all questions to the mayor.

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8 Comments

  1. SlipperCity said:

    If crime is down in the city, then why did we need a grant to fight crime a couple of months ago? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. My next question is, is someone looking the other way when a crime is committed by a YOU KNOW WHAT and no one wants to acknowledge we have an issue?

  2. Jack Haverhill said:

    The mayor, and other liberal democrat elected officials, have quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) been pushing pro-sanctuary city policies in Haverhill for over a decade. We now have unbiased, objective statistical data detailing and proving the results of those policies and, as expected, the incompetent mayor denies and tries to spin the truth. The mayor is promoting a liberal agenda at the expense of protecting the people of the city. Facts now prove this.

    Does this really come as a surprise to anyone? When a teenage girl was dragged into a city park and raped last fall by two criminal trespassers in this country illegally and not one elected official said a thing about it…does anyone wonder why officials wouldn’t say a thing? This, by the way, included a Haverhill female far left liberal Democrat State Representative who happens to be the Co-Chairman of legislature’s state committee on Public Safety. Can you imagine her not saying a anything?

    When Andy Vargas recently made public statements that he was going to assist criminal trespassers from other countries illegally in Haverhill, thereby aiding and abetting criminals in the commission of a crime, and essentially committing treason by ignoring his sworn fiduciary duty as an elected public official, do people even ask what the end result of promoting that insane public policy pronouncement is?

    When Andy Vargas, with the permission of the mayor, assisted a non-English speaking criminal trespasser from another country in participating in a Haverhill public school meeting by translating her comments in a public forum for which she had no rights to participate, do people even wonder whose rights Vargas, the mayor, and all the other liberal democrats in city government put first?

    Crime is up….way up!! Drugs and gangs are out of control. Shootings are occurring at little league games. SWAT teams are being called in to assist in sanctuary neighborhoods from the thugs held up in homes shooting at cops.
    The mayor has laid out the welcome mat for these criminal trespassers to flock to Haverhill where they can be protected by the safe haven his policies provide. The crime problems Haverhill has is a direct linear result of the public policy decisions by the mayor and all of the elected liberal democrats in the city.

    Factual statistics and challenging the mayor on them is going to change nothing. Liberals, as we just witnessed with Vargas literally defending criminals in the city, are digging in their heals when it comes promoting criminals at the expense of public safety. The entire Haverhill city council voted recently to object to President Trump’s efforts to protect Americans with strict border security. Haverhill is a VERY dangerous place being lead by liberal democrats promoting a VERY dangerous ideology. Things in Haverhill are not going to change, it’s only going to get worse. The ONLY solution is to vote these insane liberals out of office.

  3. jack said:

    Crime is down,vote for me ! Obviously the Mayor has his head in the sand. Cannot figure out though why the City Council seems so out of touch on this issue. Why not just ask real questions instead of the fake political ones ? What are you folks scared of ? Oh yeah right, Re-election and the Mayors’ wrath if you make any waves. Makes sense.

  4. Duncan Burns said:

    LOL! So the UCR codes that the police enter and are sent to The FBI are wrong? Sure Mayor Jimmy. Maybe The Mayor will order The Chief to tell the rank & file to stop doing their jobs so they can’t enter anymore data and make Haverhill look better?

  5. Andrew Schiller said:

    The mayor argues that crime has been going down so we cannot have an above average crime rate. That argument makes no sense. Read the FAQS on the NeighborhoodScout:

    Q. Crime has been going down in a city, so how can it have a high crime rating?

    A. Crime has recently been going down nationwide. If other areas have crime that is going down faster than another city, then that city will still show more crime. To put it simply, a city may be getting safer, but other cities may be getting safer – faster.

  6. Lee said:

    Politics as usual with smoke and mirrors ,.. the FBI analysis is methodically prepared . They have no agenda against Haverhill. The Mayor and others should take the data seriously, hire more police and take creative proactive measures to improve the data.

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