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.