Brooklyn murder rate spikes despite crime decline citywide
The first two months of 2019 saw a dramatic spike in Brooklyn’s murder rate even as the city’s overall crime rate decreased, according to figures released by the Mayor’s Office and NYPD on Monday.
Over January and February of this year, index crimes — murder, rape, robbery, burglary, felony assault, grand larceny and auto theft — were down 10.6 percent from the same period last year.
According to figures obtained from NYPD’s CompStat, however, those first two months of 2019 presented a bloody picture in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn North experienced a 275 percent rise in the number of murders since January — from four murders during the first two months of 2018 to 15 murders during the first two months of 2019.
Murders were up 125 percent in Brooklyn South, which has seen nine cases so far this year, compared to four during the first two months of 2018. These include the three men killed in a hammer attack in the 61st Precinct.
Murder rates in Brooklyn in 2019 have far outpaced the 50 percent murder rate increase citywide.
Rape also increased in the borough, up 43.3 percent in Brooklyn North and 23.5 percent in Brooklyn South during the first two months of this year.
While crime is at “record-low levels” citywide, there is still more to do, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The mayor said he had “full confidence that the NYPD will stop this recent surge in its tracks and make our city safer.”
To combat the increase in homicides in Brooklyn, NYPD intends to enhance its working relationship with prosecutors in the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, the department said. Gonzalez said in a statement he would be partnering in this effort.
The department will also roll out a five-point plan to combat pockets of violence. This plan includes “precision” deployments in four commands; stronger gun prosecutions in Brooklyn; expansion of the gang intervention CeaseFire program in Brooklyn and the Bronx; the launch of the Re-Entry-Stat program for people re-entering the community from the prison system; and an intensification of domestic violence gun investigations.
So far, 56 firearms have been recovered under this pilot program. In the 2019 year-to-date, there has not been a domestic violence homicide by gun, according to NYPD.
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said he was “proud of the work our members on the ground do to continually focus — very precisely — on the real drivers of crime.
Additional police officers will be deployed in the 34th, 43rd, 79th and 113th Precincts. In each command, eight additional officers will be strategically deployed at high-visibility locations at critical times.
In addition, the Warrants Section will focus efforts on apprehending top offenders and violent criminals with open warrants.
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