by Pete Mazzaccaro
During a Dec. 9 meeting with 14th District police at Norwood Fontbonne Academy, many community members in attendance lauded police efforts and said they felt the neighborhood was safer than it had been in a long time.
Chestnut Hill Community Association president Will Detweiler praised police at the meeting.
“On behalf of the community association, I would like to thank you all,” he said. “I lived in Chestnut Hill a long time, and I don’t think we have ever had a stronger sense of police presence, and it translates into people feeling secure and safe on the streets, in the business area and in their homes. It’s a tribute to all of you, and, frankly, we should all be very proud.”
A look by the Local at crime stats complied by the Philadelphia Police Department over the last five years shows that the feeling people expressed at the meeting has a basis in hard numbers.
Between 2009 and 2014, Chestnut Hill has seen declines that have far outpaced those of the city as a whole. Over that five-year period, violent crime decreased from 26 crimes to 8, a decline of 69.2 percent. Property crimes, which are by far the most common in Chestnut Hill, declined from 358 to 220 – 38.5 percent.
Those numbers are far better than those of the citywide trend in which violent crime has declined by 10.53 percent and property crime by only 6.35 percent.
Of note, as well, is that among violent crimes, which include assault, sexual assault, robbery and murder, Chestnut Hill was not the site of a single homicide.
Part of the decline can clearly be credited to overall declines in crime in general, but Chestnut Hill is clearly benefiting more than most other neighborhoods.
Chestnut Hill had only eight violent crimes in 2014. The city average number of violent crimes per neighborhood (of which there are 57) was 227, making Chestnut Hill 96.4 percent safer than average among all neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
In 2014, Chestnut Hill was the setting for 220 property crimes, 706 fewer than the neighborhood average of 926, making Chestnut Hill 76.2 percent safer for your property than the city average.
Next week, we will look at crime numbers in Mt. Airy and compare those trends to Chestnut Hill and the city.