News Column

Boston Cops Use Social Media to Crack Down on Parties

July 5, 2013

Boston police are using social media, as well as old-fashioned walking beats, to find huge after-hours parties before they happen in an effort to tamp down summer violence.

"It's about trying to be proactive," said Bureau of Field Services Superintendent William Evans. "If we find out about a party, we're going to visit that house ahead of time. If they have a DJ, they need an entertainment license. If they're going to serve alcohol, they need a liquor license."

Evans said police are spotting upcoming parties online, as well as on fliers posted in storefronts or stapled to utility poles.

Large, late-night parties can spiral out of control and can lead to violence, he said.

Hub shootings are up this year, with 120 as of June 25, compared with 98 at the same time last year.

Police also have arrested more people on gun charges, with 202 taken into custody so far, compared with 153 last year.

Evans said police were called to a house in Hyde Park on Wednesday night where 600 people had gathered.

He said because of the number of people there, police citywide were called in for crowd control.

"Whether it's in South Boston or Jamaica Plain, we want to stay on top of parties that can get out of control," Evans said.

Evans said police also are keeping an eye on bars and restaurants.

An out-of-control crowd outside The Stadium bar downtown early yesterday morning prompted a massive police response, he said. Officers from the drug and gang units as well as extra patrols were called in.

"That ties up resources across the city," he said.

Police are urging neighbors to call the party hotline at 617-343-5500 or call 911.

Source: Copyright Boston Herald (MA) 2013. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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