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Crime drops 6 percent in Queens North

Crime throughout the eight precincts that comprise the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Queens North (PBQN) dropped nearly six percent during 2006 compared to the previous year it was announced at the annual PBQN Community Forum held on Monday, January 22 at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
“Queens North leads the city continuously in terms of reduction in crime. This county is the safest county in the safest big city in America,” District Attorney Richard A. Brown told the audience of approximately 250 cops and community members who gathered at the dinner buffet meeting.
According to Assistant Chief James Tuller, the number of major crimes within his command (which includes the 104th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 114th and 115th precincts) fell 5.8 percent from16,352 incidents in 2005 to 15,391 incidents in 2006. Major crimes include murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto.
With 29 murders in 2006 versus 34 in 2005, murder had the highest decrease among the seven crimes to equal a 14.7 percent reduction. Rape, which dropped from 198 in 2005 to 193 in 2006, saw the least decrease at 2.5 percent.
The PBQN made 10 percent fewer arrests for rape cases in 2006 (110 out of 193) than it did in 2005 (132 out of 198), according to figures cited by Tuller. He indicated a lack of evidence, a victim who is unclear or a perpetrator who cannot be identified as a few of the obstacles that can prevent an arrest.
“We’ll work on that this year,” Tuller said, adding that education is a particularly important tool for reducing acquaintance rape. According to national Bureau of Justice statistics, almost 76 percent of completed rapes in 2005 were perpetrated by someone known to the victim.”
“Acquaintance rape is something that some folks need to know and understand that no is no,” he said, mentioning efforts to communicate that information in the schools.
Tuller discussed strategies being employed by the NYPD to further reduce crime, including police education, undercover sting operations, task force formation, intelligence gathering and reward programs, among others. He added that community members themselves can sometimes be their own best defense against becoming victims, particularly with burglaries and car break-ins.
“For us it’s hard to take a look at and figure out how to reduce [burglaries],” he said. “But part of our strategies include you,” he told the audience.
“Simple things like keeping windows closed are extremely important,” he said. An open window is an invitation for somebody to break into your homes, he added, noting that after crime analyses police are often able to attribute open windows as the cause of many burglaries.
The best way to prevent a car break-in is to not leave valuables in them, he reminded the group.
“People insist on leaving things in their vehicles,” such as wallets, computers and cell phones, he said. “You cannot leave anything of value in your car, you have to take it with you.”
Tuller also suggested that people remain aware of their belongings and surroundings to prevent property theft.
“We have to force ourselves, almost train ourselves, not to be distracted and leave things unattended,” he said. “You really have to be aware of your surroundings all the time.”
Seniors in particular, because they can be overly trusting or vulnerable, should be wary about con games, such as someone who claims to be a utility worker in order to get inside their home, Tuller said.
“If somebody is knocking on your door and you don’t think it’s legit, call 9-1-1 right away.”
Tuller reminded attendees that each precinct has a crime prevention officer they may contact for additional information and charged the crowd to do its part to prevent crime. “I’m counting on you to go back and pass this information out to friends and family,” he said.

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