Brooklyn on pace for another year of record-setting low crime
Crime has been trending down in Brooklyn consistently since its height in the early ’90s and that trend has so far continued in 2017 as the acting district attorney announced on Thursday that the borough continues to produce record-low crime numbers.
“I am very proud that crime has continued to plummet so rapidly in Brooklyn, a trend that shows that the targeted approach employed by the NYPD and my office in fighting violent crime is working,” Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.
Last year was the safest year in Brooklyn since they began keeping crime statistics, but so far this year, there has been significantly reduced numbers of shooting incidents, shooting victims and homicides, plus decreases in many other categories.
“It is also proof that we can implement criminal justice reforms while still enhancing public safety,” Gonzalez continued. “We have launched innovative new programs to reduce reliance on bail, to protect immigrants and to divert low-level offenders from incarceration as we continue to drive down violence and improve the quality of life in all parts of Brooklyn.”
So far in 2017, murders are down 18 percent compared to the same time last year — just 50 so far — and that number should break 2014’s record low of 122 for the year (there were 128 murders in Brooklyn in 2016).
There have also been 32 fewer shooting incidents compared to the same time last year, and 48 fewer shooting victims, a drop of 19.2 percent and 23.7 percent, respectively.
Brooklyn is the only borough to see reductions in murders, shooting incidents and shooting victims since the start of 2016.
The total index crime in Brooklyn, murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto, has decreased 4.5 percent for the year. Only rape has increased in the borough, with two more incidents in 2017 than in 2016.
The DA noted that his office has focused on so-called “drivers of crime,” or individuals who are responsible for most of the shootings. He added that the office has partnered with NYPD on multiple crime initiatives.
One such initiative, the Crime Strategies Unit, keeps track of known gang members, and the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau works with NYPD to target gangs and weapons traffickers. The Firearms Prosecutions Unit operates with the goal of prosecuting gun cases faster and more efficiently.
The acting DA continues to tout Brooklyn’s low crime numbers, but his opponents in the upcoming September primary election have often pointed out that these numbers ignore certain sections of Brooklyn that haven’t seen the same type of crime reduction.
“Crime is still very high in some areas — largely in neighborhoods with lower incomes and higher black and Latino populations,” said Ama Dwimoh, one of the seven candidates currently running for district attorney.
“Black and Latino men and women are also still disproportionately arrested and prosecuted in Brooklyn for lower-level crimes,” Dwimoh continued. “So, although crime is low overall, that does not mean there is justice for all. Our DA’s office must now shift its focus to proactive justice for all communities so that Brooklyn is safer and fairer in the years to come.”
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