20 Cities in Massachusetts with the Most Improved Crime Rate

December 1, 2014

6. Rowley, MA

It may surprise some to see the small town of Rowley on the list of most improved cities in the state, because their crime rate was already unbelievably low, but Rowley shows that even the best can get better through hard work. With the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest, Plum Island and Ipswich Bay just minutes away, Rowley is right near some of the best natural attractions that the state of Massachusetts has to offer. By cutting property crime virtually in half, the local police department has shown that just doing the basics can keep the crime rate low.

2007 Crime Rate: 6.07
2012 Crime Rate: 3.53
41.94% Decrease In Crime

7. North Attleboro, MA

In the southwest corner of the state sits the town of North Attleboro, just northeast of Providence, RI and south of the Wrentham State Forest. On the border of Rhode Island, North Attleboro is more of an industrial town, which leans to why their crime rate was on the low end to begin with. Voted previously as one of the most affordable and safest places to raise a family, it’s easy to see why those accolades came with how the crime rate continues to decline over the years. According to data provided by the FBI, North Attleboro Police have seen their overall crime rate dip over 40 percent over a five year period, most notably violent crime, which has been made nearly nonexistent.

2007 Crime Rate: 25.95
2012 Crime Rate: 15.10
41.79% Decrease In Crime

8. Winchester, MA

To the northwest of Boston and tucked between some beautiful natural sights like Horn Pond, Spot Pond and the Middlesex Fells Reservation is Winchester, Massachusetts. Known as a “bedroom community” for business people who work in the greater Boston area but live outside of it, Winchester was already one of the safer communities just outside the city limits of Boston. With some historical sites and often on the way for those who commute into the bigger towns, property crime is something that the local police department has focused on and has seen a sharp decline in. With their efforts and through programs like the neighborhood watch, overall crime in the area has dropped nearly 50 percent in a five year period.

2007 Crime Rate: 16.88
2012 Crime Rate: 9.82
41.79% Decrease In Crime

9. Boxford, MA

Tucked away outside of Lawrence to the east is Boxford, Massachusetts. Tucked in the northeast portion of the state, it’s a small town that can see a lot of through traffic because of its closeness to some of the state forests and being just minutes from Ipswich Bay. There is generally no commercial development in Boxford, so it’s known as a laidback town with some historic locations and buildings. As such, crime in the town is almost nonexistent to begin with, but the police department has stayed on top of things and the rate continues a steady decline.

2007 Crime Rate: 7.73
2012 Crime Rate: 4.57
40.86% Decrease In Crime

10. Templeton, MA

Just west of Boston and on the edge of the Otter River State Forest is the town of Templeton, Massachusetts. Templeton is surrounded by some of Massachusetts best natural attractions, just as the aforementioned forest and just miles from other state reservations and the Quabbin Reservoir. Templeton is also one of the safer towns outside of the Boston area with a crime rate that is not only low, but is also getting lower thanks to the effort of the local police department and the hard work of the community, utilizing things like the neighborhood watch program.

2007 Crime Rate: 16.64
2012 Crime Rate: 9.86
40.73% Decrease In Crime

11. Randolph, MA

Nestled south of Boston and the Massachusetts Bay is the town of Randolph, which is surrounded by some beautiful scenery. With the banks of the Great Pond and Ponkapoag Pond on the edges of town and the Blue Hills Reservation there is plenty to do in the small town of Randolph. The town takes pride in those natural attractions and over the past five years the police department and community has worked hard to bring down crime, specifically property crime in the region. The Randolph police department utilizes the citizen’s police academy to make sure their community is informed and aware of what to look for to help prevent crime.

2007 Crime Rate: 32.81
2012 Crime Rate: 20.75
36.76% Decrease In Crime

12. Reading, MA

With a crime rate already one of the lowest in the state of Massachusetts, Reading still clocks in inside the top 15 of our list of most improved cities in the state by focusing their efforts on preventing violent crime. Located north of Boston, Reading is one of the small historic towns in the state that has kept a focus on keeping their town not only friendly and interesting, but safe. With the Reading Town Forest and the Cedar Swamp in the area, residents and visitors can explore some of the natural sights and sounds in the area without worry for their safety. As mentioned, Reading’s crime rate was already low, but even with a safe environment you can always strike to make it better, which is why Reading has made our list.

2007 Crime Rate: 12.30
2012 Crime Rate: 7.89
35.87% Decrease In Crime

13. Sudbury, MA

Like some other small Massachusetts towns on our list, Sudbury is another in towns that can already be considered one of the safest in the state. Sudbury’s crime rate was already very low, but through some hard work the police department has helped make violent crime in the region virtually nonexistent. With the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge and Malborough-Sudbury State Forest just minutes away, there are plenty of natural amenities for folks to enjoy both within the town of Sudbury and in the surrounding areas. Residents and visitors can enjoy these things around town and feel safe thanks to the hard work of the police department.

2007 Crime Rate: 6.56
2012 Crime Rate: 4.22
35.69% Decrease In Crime

14. Lexington, MA

Just to the north west of Boston sits the city of Lexington, Massachusetts coming in just inside the top 15 of our list of most improved cities in the state. Lexington’s crime rate wasn’t necessarily an issue at the begging of our set of data provided by the FBI, but they were still able to significantly improve that number over a five year period. With some great attractions like Arlington’s Great Meadow, Lexington is just small enough to get the slow small town feel while still being close enough to the big city to be able to get the benefits without the fast paced, crowded environment. Utilizing programs like the CodeRED Emergency Notification system and neighborhood watch, the community and police department they’ve been able to decrease crime across the board.

2007 Crime Rate: 11.55
2012 Crime Rate: 7.47
35.33% Decrease In Crime

15. Agawam, MA

Just to the west of Springfield and on the banks of the Connecticut River, Westfield River and the border of Connecticut is the town of Agawam. While considered part of Springfield, MA, Agawam takes pride in being their own small town just across the river of the big city with the close knit feel of a small town. With some beautiful forests in the areas and the popular waterways, Agawam can see a lot of visitor traffic and people commuting to work in the city across the way. The police department has seen a sharp decline in both violent and property crime over the past five years based on data provided by the FBI, which is why they make their way inside the top 15 of our list of most improved cities in the state.

2007 Crime Rate: 16.41
2012 Crime Rate: 10.66
35.06% Decrease In Crime

16. Shrewsbury, MA

On the banks of Lake Quinsigamond and just across the way from the University of Massachusetts is the town of Shrewsbury, which ranks just outside the top 15 on our list of the most improved cities in Massachusetts. Shewsbury grew as a neighboring suburb to Worcester, unlike many other small towns in the state which generally started as either a mill or farming village. The police department as seen a sharp decline in violent crime in the area, making Shrewsbury one of the safer cities in the region overall and on our list.

2007 Crime Rate: 11.65
2012 Crime Rate: 7.74
33.55% Decrease In Crime

17. Braintree, MA

Just south of Boston and on the edges of the Blue Hills Reservation is the town of Braintree, Massachusetts. The birthplace of two United States presidents, Braintree has a rich history like many towns in Massachusetts. With an excellent public school system, Braintree has seen a growth spurt in recent years which typically can mean an increase in crime. Thanks to the efforts of the local police department and things like the neighborhood watch program, Braintree has not only been able to curb that typical increase in crime with an influx of population, but actually see the crime rate take a sharp decline.

2007 Crime Rate: 30.11
2012 Crime Rate: 20.10
33.22% Decrease In Crime

18. Newton, MA

To the west of Boston and off the banks of the Charles River is the town of Newton, Massachusetts. Newton is home to Boston College, so often has plenty of young adults as residents as well as those who work in the city and commute to work. Often when you have a high demographic of young college adults, you can have high property crime rates, but even with that Newton’s rates were relatively low. While still being relatively low, Newton was able to do enough work through programs such as neighborhood watch to see those numbers decline over a five year period to an even better rate, bucking the trend.

2007 Crime Rate: 16.73
2012 Crime Rate: 11.19
33.13% Decrease In Crime

19. Westborough, MA

To the east or Worcester and minutes from University of Massachusetts and some beautiful natural attractions like Lake Quinsigamond, Flint Pond and George H. Nichols dam is Westborough, Massachusetts. Just coming inside our list of most improved cities in the state, Westborough is a classic small New England town with the big cities just miles away. Westborough has some beautiful wooded areas and waterways in the region and has seen a sharp decline in property crime over the past five years according to data provided by the FBI. The police department has put an emphasis on protecting some of the natural amenities the town has to offer, as well as their historical buildings and it’s paid off.

2007 Crime Rate: 17.56
2012 Crime Rate: 11.79
32.86% Decrease In Crime

20. Concord, MA

There are not many cities in the state of Massachusetts, let alone the country with the kind of history that Concord has. Part of the initial conflict in the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the town is loaded with historical sites and buildings. With many natural attractions in the area such as the Minute Man National Historical Park and Boston just miles to the east, Concord is a nice hot spot in the state. Even while being a hot spot, Concord has been able to keep their crime rate not only low, but continue to drive it lower over the past five years according to data provided by the FBI.

2007 Crime Rate: 15.09
2012 Crime Rate: 10.17
32.61% Decrease In Crime


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20 Most Improved Cities in Massachusetts

Disclaimer: To improve the accuracy and usefulness of our list, we chose to exclude small communities with populations below 5,000 in our rankings.
Our rankings are determined by national crime statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our rankings are only as accurate as the local population and crime statistics officially released by the FBI.

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