Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner O’Neill hold a media availability on crime statistics and announce that construction has begun on the new 40th Precinct Station House. 40th Precinct, 257 Alexander Ave., Bronx. Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

Despite the New York Police Department reporting a decline in overall crime citywide and in Queens through the first half of 2018, murders and reported rapes are on the rise.

The NYPD released an official statement about the crime statistics on July 10, and Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill also answered questions about the numbers the same day at the 40th Precinct in the South Bronx. According to O’Neill, the NYPD remains focused on the specific areas in the city that are responsible for the spikes in severe crimes.

“While the overall crime rate continues to fall in New York City, it remains our top priority to forcefully combat the spikes in murder and other crimes where we know persistent pockets of crime still exist,” O’Neill said in the statement. “Our mission will always be to relentlessly pursue the relatively small percentage of criminals responsible for the majority of the violence in our city. New Yorkers deserve nothing less than our very best work in that regard – every day, in every neighborhood.”

In Queens, the 110th Precinct covering Corona and Elmhurst is one of those pockets of crime. The precinct reported the highest number of rapes in the borough so far in 2018 with 25, an increase of 257 percent over the same time last year. The precinct also experienced the highest number of robberies in the borough with 158, though that is a slight decrease of 4.2 percent in the area compared to last year.

Moreover, the 110th Precinct has seen the highest rise in total number of reported crimes through the first six months of 2018 compared to last year with a 13.8 percent increase.

The number of reported rapes increased by 45 percent in Queens overall and by 33 percent citywide. When asked if there is any sort of initiative or awareness campaign by the department to lower the the number of rapes, NYPD Chief of Department Terrance Monahan explained that an increase in reported rapes doesn’t necessarily mean that the crime is being committed more often.

“I mean rape, we always know, has been an often under-reported crime,” Monahan said. “That’s the one crime we [see] going up that you’ve got to weigh that it’s actually a good thing because more people are coming forward. Especially when we see it in domestic violence cases because those are the ones that never come forward. Now, we’re seeing a huge uptick in people coming forward.”

With regard to murder, Queens has seen an 11 percent increase in 2018, while the citywide increase is only one incident higher than in 2017. Many of the Queens murders have taken place in Patrol Borough Queens South, with the 105th Precinct having the most at six and the 106th and 107th precincts both having four.

Throughout the borough, the number of shootings has increased by 16 percent in 2018.

Yet, with overall crime decreasing in so many parts of the city — down 1.8 percent citywide and 4.5 percent in Queens — de Blasio said that the city is on pace to break records set last year for the lowest crime levels in decades.

“Again, that makes this the lowest six-month period for overall crime in the modern era,” de Blasio said. “Now that said, we know that everything we are doing has to be felt in every community. This vision we have of neighborhood policing, precision policing, we are not satisfied until we see the results happening absolutely everywhere.”

Notable decreases in crime in Queens include the 100th Precinct, which had the lowest number of reported rapes, robberies, burglaries and grand larcenies in the borough, as well as the largest decrease in total crimes at 27.5 percent.

The 102nd Precinct, 104th Precinct and 111th Precinct have also experienced crime drops of at least 10 percent so far in 2018.



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