Since the mid-2000s, homicide clearance rates in Boston were noticeably lower than national homicide clearance rates. Between 2004 and 2011, the Boston Police Department (BPD) Homicide Unit cleared, on average, about 44% of the homicides investigated. By comparison, some 63% of homicides investigated by U.S. law enforcement agencies were cleared during this same time period. With the support of U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) funds, the BPD engaged in a problem-oriented policing enterprise to understand the underlying nature of their homicide clearance problem, develop appropriate responses to enhance their investigations of homicide victimizations, and evaluate the impact of the implemented intervention. The problem analysis included an investigation of 314 homicide victimizations from 2007-2011, as well as the creation of a Homicide Advisory Committee that identified gaps in their investigative processes and identified best practices, especially from the United Kingdom model.
• The Boston Police Department cleared, on average, about 44 percent of homicides investigated 2004 to 2011.
• In 2010, 50 percent of homicides were generated by gang violence, and another 22 percent involved drug-related motives. Boston’s homicide clearance rate in 2010 was 47 percent.
• The impact evaluation revealed that through the SPI implemented in 2011, the Boston Police Department increased its yearly homicide clearance rate by 10 percent. This homicide clearance intervention improved the likelihood of clearing cases with challenging characteristics. Homicides were almost 43 percent more likely to be cleared during the intervention in comparison with the time before the intervention began.
Homicide rate in Boston increases after 15-year low: http://www.northeastern.edu/rugglesmedia/2017/02/13/homicide-rate-in-boston-increases-after-15-year-low/Boston
City solving murders at 5-year high:
Boston Police Department Website: http://bpdnews.com/
Boston Police Department Homicide Unit: http://bpdnews.com/homicide-unit/
Can Homicide Detectives Improve Clearance Rates? http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0011128716679164