Column: Crime rates, before and after

On March 15, 2011, needing an answer to a question, I entered the Rindge Police Department Office and after getting my questions answered, I was informed that there was a meeting scheduled for residents at the Recreational Center on Wellington Road. Evelyn Lewis invited me and she said I might find it informative and interesting.

So I walked through the door that evening and found about 60 or so fellow Rindge residents also looking for information and questions answered. Each had a different need, concern and/or problem. I sat quietly, listened to all the speakers, until a small woman stood at the back of the room informing all she was a victim. Her robbery happened one morning after she had left for work. Forgetting a folder, she returned home to discover her home had been broken into. She was now “a statistic.”

How surprised was I to find out that this tiny little town I had moved into five months earlier experienced 43 robberies in the previous two years, and that two were very close to my home.

Then-Police Chief Mike Sielicki and Detective Dan Anair did their best to answer all questions from very angry residents, especially those who were victims. What I was interested in were the suggestions, the hints, how to keep records, the “what to do’s,” and the “when to do them.” When we were asked, “How many of you are interested in forming and joining Crime Watch?,” I raised my hand and signed up with Lewis. After subsequent meetings, officers were elected, zone captains were appointed and we began to keep records.

Personally, I was more interested in what types of crimes was Rindge going to defend itself against. Members had stepped forward with information on burglaries, tire fires, smashing of mailboxes and just plain vandalism.

In 2009 a total of 1,141 crimes were committed, but 883 pertained to Crime Watch interests. September and November were the worst months.

In 2010 a total of 841 crimes were committed, but 683 pertained to Crime Watch interests. October and November were the worst months.

In 2011 a total of 728 crimes were committed, but 556 pertained to Crime Watch interests. This year, April and December were the highest months.

In 2012 a total of 699 crimes were committed, but 530 pertained to Crime Watch interests. Again, October and November were the highest months.

Since the original meeting, 141 people are now part of Crime Watch. We meet monthly, helping track robberies (home/car), local destruction and trespassing, drug and traffic violations, and most importantly, helping each other and our own neighbors. Most recently, we are now working on training offered by our local Police Department, and the Fire Department. We need these people to help us help our neighbors and neighborhoods.

Sharon Rasku is captain for Zone 1.

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