Stoughton Massachusetts is a town 17 miles south of Boston. With a population just over 26,000 Stoughton's property crime rate is less than Massachusetts average at 9.99 per 1000 residents (Massachusetts property crime rate is 11.8). Stoughton's violent crime is less than the Massachusetts average at 2.01 per 1000 residents (Massachusetts is 3.28). That means the likelihood of you becoming a victim of violent crime in Stoughton is 1 in 499.
While all these numbers appear to be on the right side of the median, Stoughton residents should be more concerned about where it's headed. Are those numbers going down as compared to previous years, or are they going up? The answers to these important questions fall within the town’s annual report.
When we compare the last couple of years of self reported criminal activity, it’s easy to deduce crime in Stoughton is on the rise. According to the town’s 2019 annual report (pages 55-57), the police department responded to a total of 25,144 calls for service. Many of those calls are routine and consume only a small percentage of the officers time. However, there are serious incidents which require a report to be generated including burglary's and violent assaults. The total number of offense reports investigated was 1,224 which was 357 more than 2018 (a 30% increase). As a result of officers investigations, Stoughton Officers either arrested or summoned the offender for criminal charge in 1,132 cases. This is an increase of about 13% as compared to 2018 (155 more arrests/summons).
Add to that, the opioid epidemic continues to have a significant impact on the town. Stoughton accounted for 10% of Norfolk County’s total fatal overdoses. This is a staggering number considering there are 28 towns in Norfolk County. However, the number of actual overdoses has held steady and fatal overdoses have steadily decreased thanks to Stoughton Police Department's deployment of the drug NARCAN.
“The total overdoses by year during the past four years consist of 65 for 2019 (3 were fatal), 64 (10 were fatal) in 2018, 50 (seven were fatal) in 2017 and 67 (12 were fatal) in 2016” (2019 annual report).
So what, if anything does this mean for the Town of Stoughton? Simple answer: it depends. The Town of Stoughton has yet to publish their annual report for 2020 on their website. Only then when we’ll be able to determine whether Stoughton’s crime rate is on an upward swing or merely a blimp on the radar.
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