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Do I Need a Home Security System for my Massachusetts Home?

What are Crime Rates in Massachusetts?

The rate of violent crime in Massachusetts is well above the national average, but the rate of property crime is lower, according to FBI data.

Massachusetts residents are more likely to be victims of murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault but less likely to be be victims of burglary, larceny/theft or motor vehicle theft, the 2011 data shows.

There were 28,219 violent crimes in Massachusetts in 2011. The rate of violent crime per 100,000 people was 428.4, compared to a national rate of 386.3. (The rate per 100,000 is a measure used by all states to report data to the FBI. It allows for an apples-to-apples comparison of crime data among states.)

Despite the higher than average rate, violent crime in Massachusetts is on the decline:

  • There were 185 murders in 2011, a decrease of 8.3 percent from 2010.
  • Incidents of rape totaled 1,628, a decrease of 8.7 from the year prior.
  • Robberies declined 1.9 percent.
  • Aggravated assault dropped significantly - 10 percent.

The 2011 rate of property crime in Massachusetts was 2,258.7 per 100,000, compared to a national average of 2,908.7. Incidents of burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft all declined over the year.

Crime in Massachusetts Cities and Towns

Statewide data is interesting, but it only tells part of the story. Crime rates vary widely from one city or town to the next. The chart below shows the number of incidents of common crimes in the state’s 10 most populous cities and towns.

Notice that the biggest cites tend to have the most crime, but not always the highest crime rates. For example, Boston has four times the population of Springfield, yet only three times the number of murders. Also, cities like Worcester and Springfield have higher burglary rates than Boston.

City Population Murder Forcible Rape Robbery Burglary
Boston 621,359 63 271 1,904 3,482
Worcester 182,145 11 36 411 2,066
Springfield 153,993 20 31 532 2,499
Lowell 107,167 3 36 168 914
Cambridge 105,803 5 24 152 539
New Bedford 95,649 4 59 294 969
Brockton 94,380 9 61 232 1,037
Quincy 92,834 1 31 91 551
Lynn 90,880 3 29 181 718
Fall River 89,399 2 52 274 863

Now, check out numbers for the same crimes in the five towns with the smallest populations. Not a lot of bad things happen in these little towns.

City Population Murder Forcible Rape Robbery Burglary
Chilmark 871 0 0 0 4
Cummington 877 0 0 0 3
Egremont 1,232 0 0 0 4
Pelham 1,329 0 0 0 1
Whately 1,505 0 0 0 7

For data on other cities and town in Massachusetts, use this UCR link.

Benefits of a Home Security System

About 20 million American homes are protected by home security systems, and for good reason. Among the many benefits:

  • Home security systems provide peace of mind that your family is safe and your home and valuables are protected.
  • Studies have shown that homes with alarm systems are far less likely to be burglarized.
  • Modern security systems offer far more than just burglar protection. They can be used to keep an eye on your children or turn lights on and off remotely. They alert emergency officials in the event of a fire.
  • Homeowners with security systems receive a discount on their homeowner’s insurance polices - usually 15 percent to 20 percent.
  • Even if your home is burglarized, the losses will be less with a home security system. Burglars will know they need to get out of the home fast to avoid police. According to the Electronic Security Association, the average loss for a home with an security system is $3,266, compared to $5,343 for homes without one.

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