Police See Increase In Crimes Against Persons at Danvers Motels
While the number of service calls have remained consistent at Danvers motels, the number of crimes against persons has increased from 12 to 27 percent in the past year.
Despite the increase in homeless families in motels this year, the numbers of calls to the Danvers Police Department for service have remained consistent with 2010's figures.
Danvers police chief Neil Ouellette presented a report of the calls for service at hotels and motels in Danvers this past year at the Special Board of Selectmen Meeting on Tuesday night.
According to the report, there were a total of 385 service calls among the nine hotels in Danvers between Jan. 1 through Aug. 3, while in the same time period during 2010 there were 394. In both years Motel 6 generated the highest frequency of calls. The three motels that have contracts in place with the state for homeless residency are the Days Inn, Knights Inn, and Extended Stay Inn.
"One of the things we see with the hotels is more and more families; a lot of people are inside those small rooms," said Ouellette. "As a result of that the hallways basically become neighborhoods; friction, noise complaints, all sorts of things transpire."
Ouellette noted a significant increase in domestic related incidents from 12 percent in 2010 to 27 percent in 2011. "Living in the small confines of a family, we do see a lot more domestic offenses. Many of the people in the hotels are single parents, and as a result of that, sometimes they have visitors that aren't supposed to be in there. In many times it's visitors [causing problems.]"
Increases were also noted in aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery, simple assault, and violations of restraining orders. Rape, crimes against society, and disorder/quality of life issues have all decreased.
The 385 calls from the motels are of the approximate 16,000 calls the police received in that time period.
"It's certainly not as bad as we would've expected, given the [increase in homeless families] situation," Selectmen Bill Clark said at the meeting.
Ouellette said because of the family dynamic that has presented itself, criminal activity that may have once been harbored in the motels is not as frequent.