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Jun 23, 2016 7:39 PM

Manchester residents 'not surprised' by city's upward violent crime trend

MANCHESTER — Statistics released by the Manchester Police Department on Thursday show 2015 was a tough year for crime rates in the Queen City, and Manchester residents don’t expect much better for this year.

The report compares rates for several different crimes, known as Part 1 crimes, between 2014 and 2015.

Murders in the city increased 167 percent from 3 to 8 total in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and forcible rapes increased 44 percent from 62 to 89 total. Other crimes that increased in frequency from 2014 to 2015 include auto theft, arson and aggravated assault.

Earlier this month, police officials said Part 1 crimes are down as much as 12 percent so far this year, suggesting 2016 might be on a downward trend.

However, they also said the number of shots-fired reports since April 1 are higher than normal. In the last six weeks alone, two police officers were shot, one man was killed in an afternoon shooting, and a west-side apartment building was struck by stray bullets in two different incidents.

Manchester residents cited these incidents as some of the reasons why they think crime rates will not be on the decline this year, despite what officials suggest.

“It’s very unacceptable,” said Mark Burke, a west-side resident. “There are kids around some of the areas. You just don’t know what could happen. It definitely doesn’t feel as safe.”

Others weren’t surprised by the upward trend, saying they’ve noticed crime increasing over the years they’ve lived in the city. They also expressed worry over what would happen if things don’t change.

“The crime rate itself needs to come out of the rafters,” said William Lacosse of Manchester. “People need to stop doing things that they shouldn’t and the police need to up their ante.”

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard was not able to speak with NH1 today, but he is making himself available to media tomorrow to explain the statistics in more detail.

Take a look at the fulls numbers from the 2014-2015 report below:

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