Massachusetts has launched a new website that gathers data from all the state's police departments into one place.
The Massachusetts Crime Statistics site breaks down hundreds of local and state police agencies' arrest numbers and offers details on the number and types of of crimes reported each year, going back as far as 1994.
The new database, launched by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Friday, was required as part of a criminal justice reform bill signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2018.
“This site leverages information technology to promote transparency and accountability,” Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco said in a statement released Friday. “It will serve as a valuable tool for researchers, municipal leaders, and residents alike.”
Information for some jurisdictions, like the various Massachusetts State Police locations, isn't available. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said the database launched with information from agencies that use the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System, which amounts to 95% of the state's municipalities and hospital and school police agencies. State police are expected to be on the system by December.
The data in the site Friday shows that crime reported in the commonwealth was up slightly year-over-year in 2019, the most recent year for which data was available, but still down 16% from 2015. Thirty percent of the 200,000 arrests reported last year resulted in charges being filed.
Just over half of all arrests made last year in the database were for Group B, or minor, offenses, for things like driving under the influence, disorderly conduct and drunkenness.
There were 381 hate crime incidents reported in 2019, about half based on race, ethnicity or ancestry, a quarter based on religion and a fifth based on sexual orientation. The total number of reported hate crimes is up slightly from 2018 but down about 14% from 2017.
The 2018 criminal justice reform bill is different from the 2020 police reform legislation, written in the wake of protests this spring and summer and still awaiting the governor's signature or veto.