Brooklyn crime drop exceeds citywide decrease

January 5, 2016 Helen Klein
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Crime continues to go down in Brooklyn, exceeding decreases seen citywide, according to the NYPD.

Citywide, according to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who released preliminary statistics on Monday, January 4, crime was down 1.7 percent in 2015, compared to a year earlier, based on incidents of the seven index crimes: Murder, rape, robbery, burglary, felony assault, grand larceny and grand larceny auto.

In the 13 precincts making up Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, year to date through December 27 (the latest date for which the NYPD’s CompStat reports are publicly available), the decrease was far greater than that recorded citywide, totaling 5.46 percent. Overall, the 10 precincts that comprise Patrol Borough Brooklyn North did even better, notching a 6.28 percent drop in the seven index crimes in 2015, through December 27.

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“At this point, 2015 marks the safest year in the modern history in New York City,” said Bratton. “Since 1993, we have experienced more than a 75 percent decrease in crime and an 81 percent decrease in murders. Today, we are practicing precision-policing focused on addressing the pockets of crime that remain, while exercising discretion in enforcement and reducing the number of enforcement encounters across the city.”

That said, murders were up citywide last year, from 333 in 2014 to 350 in 2015 (including the double murder discovered in Sheepshead Bay after January 1, 2016, but committed prior). And murders in both Brooklyn North and Brooklyn South increased – from 77 to 79 in Brooklyn North, as of December 27, and from 42 to 60 in Brooklyn South, as of the same date.

Shootings were down, both citywide and in Brooklyn, with 1,137 recorded in 2015 across the city, compared with 1,172 the prior year.

In Brooklyn South, the number of shooting incidents was down 10 percent as of December 27, with 181 in 2015 compared to 201 in 2014. The number of shooting victims also declined: 224 as of December 27, 2015, compared to 248 on that date a year earlier.

In Brooklyn North, the number of shooting incidents dropped 6.2 percent, from 308 in 2014 to 289 in 2015, as of December 27; the number of shooting victims declined from 363 to 346, for a decline of 4.7 percent, as of December 27.

At the same time, since the end of 2013, and the beginning of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term, there has been a significant decrease in the number of stop-and-frisk incidents, with 191,558 recorded in 2013, compared with 45,787 the following year, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union, which reported an additional decrease, down to 18,351, in the first nine months of 2015.

“Thanks to the NYPD, we have closed out the year as the safest big city in the nation while continuing to build bridges between the police and community,” noted de Blasio. “And we won’t stop working to ensure our officers have the equipment, support, and resources they need to continue protecting our residents each day.

“The statistics tell us a lot,” he subsequently stressed. “They represent human beings. They represent families. They represent things that deeply affect people’s lives.”

The announcement of the drop in crime came just days after former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ignited a firestorm when he questioned the current NYPD approach to crime reporting – allegations that were fiercely rebutted by Bratton and other police brass.

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