Police release plan to reduce gun crime in Manchester

·2 min read

Jun. 6—Manchester police on Monday released a 32-page strategy to reduce gun violence in the city, an initiative that calls for social services for potential gun uses, foot patrols in high crime areas and community building activities.

The plan comes as the country is rethinking its approach to guns and gun laws in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas. It makes no mention of the need for changes to state or federal gun laws. New Hampshire has experienced few mass shootings, but gun-related crimes and shootings have been on the rise in Manchester.

In 2020, the number of gun crimes in Manchester exceeded 200, and they are on track to pass that mark again this year.

According to the document, police used the CompStat360 problem-solving model to integrate community needs and feedback to address public safety issues.

"Efforts to reduce gun violence in Manchester require a multi-pronged, community-led approach," the study reads. "Through focusing efforts on youth, the community, neighborhoods, and precision policing, Manchester can become safer and healthier for all members of the community."

The New Hampshire Sunday News reported on the plan Sunday, and police quietly released it on Monday through social media.

The strategy was developed with organizations such as the city Health, Police and Public Works departments, My-Turn, Amoskeag Health, Manchester Police Athletic League, Victory Women, Chandlers Angels and prosecutors at the local, county and federal levels.

Details include:

Focus on youth: Outreach to youth at risk for gun crime through the Project Connect program, and investing and supporting youth activities such as Manchester Police Athletic League, Boys and Girls Club and My-Turn. It also supports court diversion programs and forging connection with families.

Focus on place: Code enforcement and cleanup of high-crime neighborhoods. Development of a community health worker program.

Building community. Programs to bring communities together and micro-grants to support community-building activities. Police foot patrols in high-crime neighborhoods.

Focused policing: Focused enforcement of gun crime laws and police presence in neighborhoods where gun crime clusters. Use of ballistics and Sound Spotter detection to solve gun crimes.

The document terms the responses evidence based.

The document said the team will seek additional help, especially from Manchester schools.

"Work to better support youth will require collaboration with the Schools and the (Problem Solving Team) will work towards establishing this relationship," the document reads.

The strategy team has developed metrics to collect and track each component of the strategy.