All- Time Low for Murders

Less Than 400 NYC Homicides In 2013

In the waning days of 2013, New York City was on track to have the fewest number of homicides in one year since the NYPD began recording comparable murder statistics 50 years ago, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly reported last Friday, Dec. 27.

Through last Thursday, Dec. 26, the NYPD tallied a total of 332 murder cases for the year, 20 percent lower than the previous record low of 419 homicides set last year.

Bloomberg, who wrapped up his 12-year tenure at City Hall Tuesday night, Dec. 31, made the announcement during the Police Department’s graduation ceremony for 1,171 new officers at Madison Square Garden. Since he took office in 2002, he noted, murders have dropped by 50 percent citywide, a total of 9,285 fewer murders than the number recorded in the previous 12 years.

Specifically, Queens saw 1,374 fewer homicides in the past 12 years, while Brooklyn fell just eight shy of 3,000 less homicides.

The former mayor credited an array of crime-fighting strategies toward achieving historic drops in felonies and making New York “America’s safest big city-and one that cities across the globe want to learn from.” Those programs include Operation IMPACT, which assigns additional officers to high-crime areas; and Operation Crew Cut, a program to combat gang violence and membership.

“Twelve years ago, no one thought New York’s crime rate could go any lower, but it did,” Bloomberg stated last Friday.

“The past 12 years have been nothing if not a test of character for New York City’s police officers,” added Kelly, who also left office Dec. 31 and was replaced by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. “From the ashes of 9/11, they helped a city to rise again, to make its residents secure, and to lay the foundation for one of the greatest economic comebacks in history. Along the way, they drove crime down to levels not seen in more than half a century. They saved thousands of lives.”

According to Bloomberg, the historic lows in homicides was achieved during a period when the city’s population has grown by over 300,000 since 2001. The all-time murder high was set in 1990, when the NYPD tallied 2,245 homicides- an average of six per day.

Over the last 20 years, the former mayor noted, crime plunged in other categories as well:

– Shootings fell to a record low this year, with 1,093 recorded through Dec. 26, down 20 percent from 2012, which held the previous record low. Since 2001, shootings have dropped by 32 percent across the city.

– Subway crime dropped 85.8 percent, from an average of 50 crimes per day in 1990 to 7.1 crimes per day this year.

– Felonies committed in schools has also dropped by 56 percent since 2001.

– Crime in the city’s housing projects also fell by 17 percent in the last 11 years.

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