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Violent crime in Manchester up in 2013
The 736 reported violent crimes — comprised of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — topped the previous two years, each of which saw 593 such reported crimes, according to Manchester Police Department figures released to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
"Manchester is a safe city, but we are an urban area and we have problems that are associated with being an urban area," Mara said Friday.
The staffing needs come as some downtown business owners have expressed concerns in recent weeks over employees being apprehensive about walking to their vehicles after dark.
Will Stewart, from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said some chamber members are concerned about crime downtown and "aggressive panhandling."
Total property crimes — comprised of burglary, larceny, arson and motor vehicle theft — rose by 353 cases to 4,294, or by 9 percent last year compared to 2012. The total figure was slightly higher in 2011, with 4,311 reported property crimes.
Mara said his department recently assigned two officers to foot patrols downtown, including parking garages, during weekday evening hours. He said a woman undercover officer also walked areas to see if she could find people harassing women.
Police also are hosting safety clinics for businesspeople to learn how to stay safe.
"People confide in me all the time Manchester is almost on the brink of turning into a Lawrence (Mass.), or a higher crime area than they'd like to live," said Roy, a former Ward 1 alderman. "The more crime you have, the lower your rentals will be and the less attractive your neighborhood will be."
"Police officers do a great job with the resources they have," Roy said. "If you have more resources, you can be more proactive."
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