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103rd reports crime rise in first two months of ‘06

BY CRAIG GIAMMONA

A sparse crowd gathered for the meeting as residents of Queens continued digging out from Sunday's major snowstorm, but Capasso told those who braved the weather that 237 crimes had been committed this year, as opposed to 209 for the same period during 2005, amounting to a 13 percent increase. In the 28 days that preceded the meeting 147 crimes were committed, as compared with 124 for the same period in 2005, Capasso said.Capasso, who represented the precinct at the meeting in the absence of Deputy Inspector Michael Blake, the commanding officer, said the precinct had the problem under control and reported that crime numbers had held steady in the seven-day period that preceded the meeting.The 103rd Precinct encompasses downtown Jamaica, Hollis Gardens, Hollis, Lakewood and Jamaica. The residents who attended the meeting complained about traffic issues and parking problems and said the precinct needed to focus more on quality of life issues.”Quality of life issues are not a priority (to the police),” said Sam Henderson Sr.Capasso however, disputed that notion and said the precinct takes complaints make the community council meetings very seriously. In response to complaints about the safety of children PS 116 made at last month's meeting, Capasso said the precinct has placed two officers on patrol near the school in the morning and afternoon. A teacher from the school who was on hand confirmed this, and said the police presence was making a big difference.Last month, residents complained that children were being harassed on their way to and from PS 116, located on Wren Place in Jamaica, near Liberty Park.Reach reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 ext. 146.

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