Welcome! Login | Register
 

Monfredo: A Magical Night … as Students Showed Off Their Talent—The arts are an integral part of the…

Fit For Life: Don’t be a turkey…—It's Thanksgiving, but I am going to stick…

Holy Cross vs Georgetown Football Preview—Holy Cross closes out their season on the…

What To Watch For: Patriots vs. Lions—The Patriots and Lions are two of the…

Leonard Moorehead, The Urban Gardener: Wreaths Go Full Circle—Urban gardeners grow year round.

Fresh Local Food for Thanksgiving in Central MA—This Thanksgiving, get out to your local farm…

Friday Financial Five: November 21 2014—Home buying fence-sitters may view this as the…

Revolution-Red Bulls Prepare For Eastern Conference Finals—The Revolution and Red Bulls will kickoff the…

MA Added 1,200 Jobs in October of 2014—Massachusetts added 1,200 jobs in October of 2014

Finneran: Gronk!—GRONK. What a word. What a sound. What…

 
 

Worcester’s University Park Becoming a Hotbed for Gang Crime

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

 

As the summer begins to heat up in Worcester, so is crime in one of the city’s public parks: University Park, located in the city’s Main South neighborhood.  

According to local residents, gang violence has plagued the park as of late, with at least two recorded shootings and a stabbing occurring during the past two months.

“I think we are in for a long hot summer,” said Bill Breault, chair of the Main South Alliance for Public Safety. “There are a lot of concerned parents in the area that don’t want their children going anywhere near the park because they are afraid of the violence. We need to do something; I don’t want to wait until someone dies to have to do something.”

According to the Main South Alliance for Public Safety agenda minutes, a number of shootings near the park have been confirmed by ShotSpotter technology in the past few months. In addition, at least one stabbing has occurred, which happened on May 1st.

Disappointment After Upgrades

In March 2011, it was announced by the city of Worcester and Clark University that $1.5 million would be devoted to the park for upgrades.

The park saw new lights, tar, and fences installed for the basketball court as well as other cosmetic changes throughout the park. While the park is now very nice aesthetically, Breault says that one key item is still missing: cameras.

“The cameras were supposed to be installed around April of 2013,” said Breault. I think that the police are doing everything that they can; I really think that we need cameras there so that when crime happens in the area, we have the ability to potentially see and catch the criminals.”

Coming Together as a Community

Bill McCarthy, a criminal justice professor at Quinsigamond Community College, also believes that the police are doing all they can do to help the current crime situation at University Park. A Worcester native, McCarthy believes that the community needs to rally around the area to help be more observant.

Many are afraid of being called snitches – ratting out others for the crimes that they have committed – but McCarthy says that this is a necessary step in helping to combat gang violence in the area. If the local community wants to see an end to the gang crimes in and around the park, then they need to come together as a community to do so.

“It makes a lot more sense to fight the causes of the crime than to fight the symptoms,” said McCarthy. “Police can arrest as many criminals as possible but in most cases, when they are released from jail, they fall back into the same cycle and lifestyle. There needs to be more outreach and community policing in the area if they really want to help cut down on these crimes.”

Creating Opportunities

Crime in the University Park area may be increasing, but there are programs and initiatives currently in place hoping to reduce or eliminate youth and gang related crimes altogether.

Laurie Ross, an Action Research Partner for the Worcester Youth Violence Prevention Program, acknowledges that Main South is one of the most crime-riddled areas in Worcester and does a lot with the local community to try to curb gang violence.

The Worcester Youth Violence Prevention Program uses local community leaders, organizations, and other resources to help reduce gang violence by targeting both at risk children who may potentially be involved with gang activity in the future, as well as preexisting gang members.

“We try to identify potential at risk children and give them opportunities for their free time so that they have less of a potential to join a gang,” said Ross. “A lot of people say that gangs will never be eliminated; we want to help to create as many alternatives as possible and intervene at earlier ages so that gang violence and volumes will be decreased.”

 

Related Slideshow: Worcester’s Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

Neighborhood search website Neighborhood Scout indexed violent and property crimes data from the Federal Bureau of Investigations to determine the crime rates on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis in Worcester. The slides below show the overall crime index (a score of 100 is best) as well as the per capita crime rates broken down by violent and property crime. The data is sourced from 2011 figures, the most recent year available from the FBI. The online resource is created by Location, Inc., a Worcester-area company that bills itself as a leader of location-based data and risk analysis information.

Prev Next

38. Heard Street

Crime Index: 83 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 1.45

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 11.62

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 13.08

Prev Next

37. Main St / Goddard Memorial Dr

Crime Index: 73 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 2.74

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 14.61

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 17.35

Prev Next

36. Westchester / Assumption

Crime Index: 70 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 2.08

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 16.32

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 18.4

Prev Next

35 (tie). Mill St / Worcester State U

Crime Index: 67 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 1.63

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 17.96

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 19.59

Prev Next

35 (tie). Oakland Heights / Massasoit

Crime Index: 67 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 5.69

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 14.1

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 19.78

Prev Next

33 (tie). Jamesville / Ludlow

Crime Index: 65 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 4.14

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 16.57

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 20.71

Prev Next

33 (tie). Burncoat

Crime Index: 65 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 1.63

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 18.88

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 20.51

Prev Next

31. Chadwick Square

Crime Index: 61 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 4.88

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 17.78

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 22.66

Prev Next

30. Sunderland

Crime Index: 60 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 3.17

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 19.67

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 22.85

Prev Next

29. Webster Square

Crime Index: 59 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 12

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 11.59

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 23.59

Prev Next

28. Westwood Hills

Crime Index: 57 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 2.56

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 21.65

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 24.21

Prev Next

27. North Worcester / Summit

Crime Index: 55 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 5.33

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 19.93

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 25.26

Prev Next

26. Pleasant St.

Crime Index: 48 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 5.99

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 22.98

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 28.97

Prev Next

25 (tie). Greendale

Crime Index: 47 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 3.35

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 26.56

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 29.9

Prev Next

25 (tie). Bloomingdale

Crime Index: 47 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 9.12

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 21.07

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 30.19

Prev Next

23. Clark U / Main St

Crime Index: 46 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 2.79

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 27.94

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 30.73

Prev Next

22. Tatnuck / West Tatnuck

Crime Index: 45 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 2.39

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 29.07

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 31.46

Prev Next

21. Lakeview

Crime Index: 43 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 4.32

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 28.09

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 32.42

Prev Next

20. Holy Cross / College St

Crime Index: 39 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 0.82

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 34.26

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 35.08

Prev Next

19 (tie). Columbus Park

Crime Index: 37 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 9.73

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 27.14

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 36.87

Prev Next

19 (tie). Hamilton

Crime Index: 37 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 10.95

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 25.81

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 36.76

Prev Next

17. Brittan Square

Crime Index: 34 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 10.44

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 28.86

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 39.3

Prev Next

16. Pinecrest

Crime Index: 33 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 5.65

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 34.12

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 39.77

Prev Next

15 (tie). City Center

Crime Index: 29 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 16.8

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 27.03

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 43.83

Prev Next

15 (tie). South Worcester

Crime Index: 29 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 14.9

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 29.26

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 44.16

Prev Next

13. Beaver Brook

Crime Index: 28 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 12.9

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 31.85

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 44.75

Prev Next

12 (tie). Swan Avenue

Crime Index: 24 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 11.72

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 37.37

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 49.09

Prev Next

12 (tie). June Street

Crime Index: 24 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 8.05

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 41.46

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 49.51

Prev Next

10 (tie). University Park

Crime Index: 20 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 12.42

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 41.75

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 54.18

Prev Next

10 (tie). Quinsigamond Village / College Hill

Crime Index: 20 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 12.15

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 42.45

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 54.6

Prev Next

8 (tie). Umass Medical / Lake Ave N

Crime Index: 16 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 7.54

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 53.28

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 60.82

Prev Next

8 (tie). Water St / Grafton St

Crime Index: 16 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 21.62

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 40.39

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 62.01

Prev Next

6 (tie). Beverly Road

Crime Index: 15 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 7.64

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 55.73

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 63.37

Prev Next

6 (tie). WPI / Highland St

Crime Index: 15 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 11.31

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 51.74

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 63.05

Prev Next

4. Oak Hill

Crime Index: 13 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 21.26

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 46.78

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 68.04

Prev Next

3. Belmont Hill / Shrewsbury St

Crime Index: 8 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 20.38

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 61.97

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 82.35

Prev Next

2. Chandler Hill

Crime Index: 6 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 27.72

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 64.36

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 92.08

Prev Next

1. Great Brook Valley

Crime Index: 4 (100 is safest)

Violent Crimes per 1000 residents: 32.64

Property Crimes per 1000 residents: 71.07

Total Crimes per 1000 residents: 103.71

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.