It is about time that we take a calmer approach to short-​​term fluc­tu­a­tions in crime fig­ures, espe­cially when they are based on a narrow time span. It is surely impor­tant for the Globe’s readers (as well as non-​​readers living or working in the city) to be informed of the sudden spike in mur­ders since the begin­ning of the year — specif­i­cally, 8 or maybe 9 this month so far com­pared with very few over the past couple of Jan­u­aries. But such trends can also be rather misleading.

Although only a lim­ited number of years was avail­able for today’s Globe piece, the longer time span dis­played below tells us that Jan­uary 2014 isn’t all that unique. More impor­tant, although the spike is unac­cept­able in terms of the pain and suf­fering it brings to many fam­i­lies, in all like­li­hood better days are ahead, no matter what the City’s strategic or pro­gram­matic response to the recent killings.

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