FEWEST MURDERS SINCE RECORDS HAVE BEEN KEPT: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that crime in New York City fell again in 2007, marking the seventeenth straight year in which major felony crime has declined. Included in the five borough crime reduction is a 13 percent decrease in crime in the subway system, despite record ridership. The City is also on course to have fewer than 500 homicides in 2007, surpassing all records for which there is comparable information. Included in the murder decline for 2007 was another record: a 36 percent decrease in domestic violence murders. The decrease coincided with an intensive, five-year effort the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has undertaken to prevent domestic violence. The announcement took place in Harlem’s 28th Precinct, where major felony crime fell 21 percent this year compared to last year. The Mayor and the Police Commissioner were joined at the announcement by 28th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Dwayne Montgomery and community members who have seen the improved conditions in the 28th Precinct firsthand.
“When I came into office, many believed it was impossible to drive crime, particularly murders, down any further,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Yet, beginning in 2002, crime declined steadily and murders fell below 600 annually for the first time in 40 years. That happened again in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Now, in 2007, we have reached another milestone, murders could potentially fall below 500 – and that includes a decrease in random murders where victims don’t know the perpetrators.”
“The new record low number of murders is truly a remarkable accomplishment for which the men and women of the Police Department should be justifiably proud,” said Commissioner Kelly said. “But it’s not about breaking records or crime suppression alone, it is all about saving lives. That’s something we can all celebrate on New Year’s Eve and then immediately resolve to keep up the good work in 2008.”
Among Decreases Across Every Crime Category, Murders and Transit Crime Stand Out
As the year comes to an end, major felony crime declined over 6 percent citywide compared to the same period in 2006. Since 2001, overall major felony crime has decreased 26 percent. Part of that reduction is a significant decrease in crime in the subway system, in 2007 crime fell 13 percent below the record low numbers recorded in 2006. In 1990, there was an average of 48 major crimes per day in the transit system while today there is an average of only six. This decrease comes as average weekday subway ridership in October was 5.3 million, an increase of 4.7 percent from October 2006 and the highest weekday ridership of any month in over thirty-five years.
The City is expected to fall below 500 homicides this year, the lowest level for any year for which records are available. The last year for which comparable information on homicide is available is 1963 when there were 548 homicides. Very few victims of homicides were strangers to their perpetrators or were killed in random attacks. Also, there was an impressive decline in domestic violence homicides that coincides with a five-year effort by the Police Department to reduce domestic violence. Specially trained detectives have engaged in proactive domestic violence prevention, doubling their visits to households where domestic violence had occurred. The trips to homes runs counter to the academic belief that little could be done to reduce domestic-related murders. The Police Department has assigned domestic violence officers to every precinct in the City, in some precincts, there are as many as ten domestic violence officers assigned. These specially trained officers made 76,000 domestic violence follow-up visits last year; compared to 38,000 in 2002. In that time, domestic violence-related murders have fallen by nearly half.
(Photo Credit: Spencer T Tucker)