By Sadef Ali Kully
Despite a slight increase in murder and rape, overall crime in Queens has decreased by 6 percent since 2014, according to the latest numbers released by the NYPD.
The NYPD reported Monday that overall crime totals for the seven major index crimes across the city fell by 1.7 percent in 2015, the lowest level on record.
Over the past two years, there has been a 5.8 percent decrease in overall crime—police officials said the city has seen record lows in several major crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary and grand larceny.
In 2014, the city recorded the lowest murder and robbery rates in 50 years, and in 2015 burglary and grand larceny auto were at their lowest levels in more than 50 years, according to police officials.
In Queens, the crime rate declined by 6 percent across the borough. In Queens North, which covers the 104,108,109, 110,111,112, 114 and 115th precincts, there was an estimated 9 percent decrease in overall crime and a 37 percent slide in homicide when compared to 2014, according to the latest NYPD statistics available from the week ending Dec. 27. Yet rapes across Queens North have gone up by 1.4 percent.
In Queens South, which covers the 100,101,102, 103,105,106, 107 and the 113th precincts, the crime rate decreased by 3.2 percent although there was a 13.5 percent rise in homicides and a 2.8 percent increase in rapes, according to the latest NYPD statistics available. The most dramatic drops of 12 percent were in burglary and grand larceny incidents.
“At this point, 2015 marks the safest year in the modern history in New York City,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference Monday. “Since 1993, we have experienced more than a 75 percent decrease in crime and an 81 percent decrease in murders. Today, we are practicing precision-policing focused on addressing the pockets of crime that remain, while exercising discretion in enforcement and reducing the number of enforcement encounters across the city.”
Since Dec. 27, there has been at least one murder in South Jamaica, of a 16-year-old boy from Rosedale who was found fatally shot Dec. 31 by police, according to the NYPD.
“Last year’s record low crime rate is further proof that the NYPD is the best police force in the world,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “And next year, we won’t stop working to ensure our officers have the equipment, support, and resources they need to continue protecting our residents each day.”
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said, “The City Council is fully committed to providing the NYPD with the resources it needs to continue to keep New Yorkers safe,” .
In 2015, the City Council helped bring in 1,300 additional new officers, helped invest in new bullet-resistant vests and strengthened police and community relations. Most recently, the NYPD added an interactive map which will be updated frequently to reflect the crime rates from each precinct down to a city block across the city.
Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skull