NEW BEDFORD — The New Bedford Police Department is touting the latest crime data released by the FBI which shows that the crime rate in the city has dropped 38 percent in the most recent nine-year span of data and that the trend is expected to continue.

In a press release sent out Monday by the department, the statistics state that the 38 percent drop in crime is the result of violent crimes decreasing by 43 percent since 2011 and property crimes decreasing by 37 percent during that time.

The FBI data comes from the bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting program. According to the FBI website, “agencies participate voluntarily and submit their crime data either through a state UCR program or directly to the FBI’s UCR Program.”

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The latest statistics released by the department cover the years between 2011 and 2019, noting “the NBPD has already submitted preliminary crime data from 2020 to the FBI; once formally recorded by the FBI, the rate is expected to decline further in 2020.”

Courtesy New Bedford Police
Courtesy New Bedford Police

The NBPD noted that of that 43 percent drop in violent crime, aggravated assaults were down 48 percent. It also noted that New Bedford’s average homicide rate of four per year from 2011-19 is “lower when compared to similar-sized cities in New England.” With only three homicides in the city in 2020, that number is also expected to go down.

“None of this can happen without the exceptional commitment of the men and women of this department who serve this city. We can bring all of the strategies to the table, but without their dedication and skill we cannot succeed,” Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro said in a statement. “Each one of them is responsible for this dramatic shift.”

The decline in overall crime incidents means “we are doing our jobs and New Bedford is safer than ever,” Cordeiro said.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell echoed that sentiment.

“We have worked diligently and strategically to make New Bedford a safer city, and our progress these last few years has exceeded even our lofty expectations. The decline in crime in New Bedford has been among the sharpest for center cities nationally,” Mayor Mitchell said in the release. “It is a testament to Chief Cordeiro’s leadership, his emphasis on community policing, data-driven patrolling, the department’s focus on impact players, and the dedication of street outreach teams.”

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