It has become a common refrain after bouts of violence in Boston’s neighborhoods: Mayor Thomas M. Menino, while denouncing the crime and the criminal, has sought to reassure residents that the city as a whole remains safe, with a declining crime rate.
But the two men looking to replace him in January are speaking differently about crime, arguing that the city has been divided into those neighborhoods where gun violence is rare and those where shootings and murders feel commonplace.
Throughout their respective campaigns, and in separate interviews with The Boston Globe, the mayoral candidates, Councilor at Large John R. Connolly and state Representative Martin J. Walsh, have shifted the tone of the conversation about the city’s crime problems. Their rhetoric is more confrontational, invoking what some have called “the two Bostons.”
The city has seen a 30 percent drop in violent crime in the last six years, but shootings remain pervasive in some neighborhoods.
Over the summer, a sharp increase in shootings led to an outcry from community leaders who questioned the city’s commitment to helping crime-plagued neighborhoods.
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