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Paterson Announces Decreases In NY Crime Rate

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that crime for the first half of 2009 had fallen 4.7 percent from the same time period in 2008. The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) also reported reductions in each of the seven “index” crimes of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. Overall crime has fallen 3.1 percent outside of New York City and 6.6 percent within the City.

“Despite the fiscal crisis, we have continued to invest in effective criminal justice strategies that keep New Yorkers safe,” Governor Paterson said. “I firmly believe that economic revitalization and public safety go hand-in-hand. An investment in our protection and a belief in the security of our communities also supports a return to a vibrant economic climate.”

DCJS compiled statistics demonstrating significant decreases in reports of crime, including: 10.6 percent in murder; 9.1 percent in rape; 12 percent in robbery; 0.7 percent in aggravated assault; 7.5 percent in burglary; 3 percent in larceny; and 13.8 percent in motor vehicle theft. Violent crime has fallen 5.6 percent and property crime is also down 4.5 percent.

Deputy Secretary for Public Safety and Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services Denise E. O’Donnell said: “It is always gratifying to see the hard work of our law enforcement professionals yield such positive results. But while these statistics are encouraging, we cannot and will not rest on our laurels. The latest statistics indicate crime is down in about two-thirds of our counties. I commend Governor Paterson for his commitment to driving crime down in every county.”

Counties outside New York City now account for approximately 56 percent of the reported crime statewide, compared to 38 percent in 1990. Earlier this year, Governor Paterson announced grants to 17 Upstate and Long Island counties that account for 80 percent of the crime outside of New York City through Operation IMPACT, a crime-reduction program.

“Over the past two decades, New York as a whole has witnessed historic reductions in crime, but not every part of the State has fully shared in that progress,” Governor Paterson said. “Operation IMPACT is the centerpiece of our public safety plan for Upstate and Long Island, and we remain committed to the intelligence-based, comprehensive crime-fighting strategy that is at the core of IMPACT.”

Governor Paterson and the State Legislature committed $15.1 million to IMPACT this year. Those funds will support proven crime-fighting and violence reduction initiatives by providing funding for crime analysts and prosecutors, equipment such as surveillance cameras and special operations such as undercover actions.

The DCJS report noted that the 5.2 percent increase in non-New York City murders is entirely attributable to the April 3rd tragedy in Binghamton, when 13 people were killed in a single incident; absent that incident, there would have been six fewer murders reported for the first half of 2009 than were reported for the first half of 2008.

(YWN Desk – NYC)

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