FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES HISTORIC CRIME REDUCTION IN 2004
Most Recent Crime Stats Show Overall Crime Down 5% From Last Year; City on Course to Have Fewer than 600 Homicides by Year’s End for Third Year in a Row
FBI Report for First Half of 2004 Once Again Shows New York City as Safest Big City In America
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that New York City's crime rate reached new historic lows in 2004 and that based on today's FBI Uniform Crime Index Report, the City remains the safest large city in America. With reductions in every borough, New York City experienced another dramatic decrease this year in overall crime Citywide of almost 5% from last year, 9% from two years ago, and 15% from three years ago. In addition, the City is on course to have fewer than 600 homicides by year's end for the third consecutive year in a row. The Mayor announced the new crime statistics with Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt at the 77th Precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn - an area that has experienced a 26% drop in overall crime over the last three years.
"We've had another successful year providing safety and security to New Yorkers by driving down crime another 5% Citywide and once again we are ranked the safest big city in America." said Mayor Bloomberg. "The remarkable drop in crime shows that our strategy of focusing on problem people and problem places is working. This achievement is even more noteworthy given that we have 3,000 fewer officers on the street today than we did in January 2002, and that in that time the NYPD has also taken on the additional responsibilities related to counter-terrorism. Our quality of life is strong, our schools are improving, and businesses are growing every day - thanks, in large part, to our efforts to reduce crime."
Working with the City's Criminal Justice Coordinator, the District Attorneys and other City agencies, the NYPD has been able to drive crime to record lows in 2004. Grand Larceny Auto and Burglary are down by over 11.5% and 8.6% respectively. The NYPD has also reduced Robberies by 6.7%, Rapes by 5.1%, Assaults by 3.6%, and Murders by 4.4%. Grand Larceny has increased only slightly by 2.1%. Crime in the subway system has dropped 13.5% over the last three years. The NYPD has reduced crime in every borough this year as well. To date overall crime is down 7.5% in Queens, 4.7% in Brooklyn, 4.3% in Staten Island 3.3% in the Bronx and 2.9% in Manhattan. Total crime in the City has declined 4.6% from last year.
The City is on course to have fewer than 600 homicides by year's end for the third year in a row, with the largest declines this year in the Bronx. In the Bronx, homicides are down 4.7% this year, 25.3% over two years and 34.5% over three years. In the 40th precinct, homicides are down 46.6% this year, 46.6% over two years and down 69.2% over three years. In the 52nd precinct, homicides are down 33.3% year to date, down 50% over two years and down 63.6% over three years. Citywide, homicides are down 4.4% this year, 2.7% over the last two years and 14.1% over the last three years.
According to FBI crime figures released today for the first 6 months of 2004, New York City remains the safest big City in the United States. The FBI reports that New York City's violent crime rate is down 3.6% this year compared to a nationwide reduction of 2%. Property crime decreased 1.4% in New York during the first six months of the years, and fell by 1.9% nationally. Of the 25 largest cities reporting to the FBI, New York City had the lowest crime rate during the first six months of 2004. This is the second time the last three years, New York City was 25 out of 25 for crime among big cities for the six-month reporting period. Of the 217 cities reporting with populations greater than 100,000, New York City was ranked 203rd, between Alexandria, Virginia and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Throughout 2004, the NYPD, working with other criminal justice agencies, employed many of the successful crime-fighting strategies that have helped bring crime down over the last three years, and also created new, targeted initiatives.
Operation Impact: Since January 2003, Operation Impact has led the way for driving down crime in New York City. The initiative is aimed at reducing and preventing serious and violent crimes by deploying approximately 1,000 Police Officers each day to strategically targeted locations or Impact Zones that exhibit a greater propensity for crime during certain hours and days. As part of the initiative, the NYPD tracks crimes, enforcement, and deployment on a daily basis, placing highly visible Field Command Posts throughout the Impact Zones, and conducts daily intelligence briefings to examine current crime trends and conditions. Operation Impact targets gangs and narcotics, as well as identifies and apprehends individuals with outstanding warrants for past crimes. The NYPD coordinates its efforts with the five District Attorneys and assigned Police Academy graduates to field training in the Impact Zones. This year, the initiative has resulted in over 125,000 summonses and more than 11,000 arrests. Crime within the impact zones has decreased approximately 30% from last year. Homicides are down 52% in Impact Zones during the current impact program which began in July.
Anti-Gun Initiatives: The NYPD launched several anti-gun initiatives in 2002 to prevent spikes in shootings from escalating into trends. The NYPD expanded its Firearms Investigations Unit, created the Bronx Gun Investigation Unit, engaged in a new initiative with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to bring more federal gun cases, and begun tracing illegal firearms to source states to identify the traffickers for federal prosecution. In 2004, Operation Gun Stop had 251 arrests and the seizure of 204 guns, and Operation Cash for Guns captured 2,704 guns.
Launched in May 2003, the Brooklyn Gun Court is a specialized court part exclusively dedicated to adjudicating felony gun possession cases. The Brooklyn Gun Court originally focused on cases from five precincts, which accounted for 25% of the City's shootings and 50% of Brooklyn's shootings. Since establishing the Brooklyn Gun Court, median jail time has quadrupled, from 90 days to one year, and the percentage of sentences of one year or longer has increased 95%. The success of the Gun Court model has led to its expansion to all precincts in Brooklyn as well as Queens and the Bronx. In Queens, the percentage of cases resulting in jail time is up 29% and in the Bronx, the percentage of sentences of one year or longer has climbed 61%.
Citywide, shootings are down 6.4% this year with the greatest one-year decline in the 63rd Precinct in Brooklyn where shootings declined this year by 68%, from 25 shootings to eight. (Homicides were down in the 63rd Precinct 90%, from ten to one.) Gun arrests are up this year by 25%.
Bank Robberies Initiative: As a result of the rise of bank robberies in 2003, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly focused resources on reversing the trend. Increased police attention to the bank robberies is only part of the solution. To truly discourage bank robberies, the banking industry has to play a significant role. Leaders of various financial institutions met with city officials to implement a cohesive plan to address the problem. The combined effort has resulted in 25% decrease in bank robberies in 2004 year to date.
Operation Spotlight: Operation Spotlight is a multi-agency initiative launched in 2002 to focus the attention of the criminal justice system on chronic misdemeanor offenders who commit a disproportionate amount of crime. Operation Spotlight cases are heard before dedicated judges in all five boroughs. The initiative has expedited the processing of narcotics laboratory reports, fast-tracked probation and parole revocations, and increased trial capacity and direct links to services for drug-addicted and mentally-ill defendants. 35,000 arrests have qualified for Operation Spotlight since its inception, and the percentage of defendants receiving jail sentences has increased 48%, with sentences of more than 30 days increasing 74%.
Sexual Assault Initiatives:
Operation Safe Housing: In June of 2004, the Mayor announced Operation Safe Housing, a four-pronged initiative aimed at reducing drug-dealing, sexual assault, and gun violence in New York City public housing. The first prong strengthens monitoring of sex offenders by sending specially-trained police officers directly to the homes of sex offenders who claim to live in NYCHA apartments in order to personally verify their addresses every six months. The second prong gets gun offenders, sex offenders, and drug dealers evicted more quickly by creating a Special Hearing Part to give their cases the highest priority. The third prong deprives drug dealers of the turf they need to do business by establishing a new trespass policy. Under the new policy, individuals arrested for drug dealing on public housing grounds receive a notice that they are banned from NYCHA property and will be arrested if they return. Finally, the fourth prong complements the first three by establishing parole offices in public housing developments. The new offices, currently under construction, will allow parole officers to have closer and more frequent contact with parolees who live in public housing, making the whole neighborhood safer. Year to date, crime in public housing is down 6%, 9.4% over the last two years and 14.1% over the last three years.
Trademark Counterfeit: Every year, trademark counterfeiting costs the City millions of dollars in lost tax revenue. It also floods our streets with phony merchandise and clogs our sidewalks with illegal vendors. In December of 2003, the City began an ambitious initiative that targets large-scale trademark counterfeit operations in the Garment District and aims to make trademark counterfeiting a losing business proposition for the building owners who make it possible. Coordinated raids have been conducted on nine buildings that were being used to sell, store, and ship counterfeit merchandise, and to date the City has confiscated over $11 million in counterfeit merchandise and recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from corrupt building owners.
Operation Clean Sweep: In January 2002, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly launched Operation Clean Sweep, a direct and comprehensive quality of life enforcement program. The program targets quality of life violations reported to precincts and the NYPD's quality of life hotline, aggressively combating low-level offenders. To date, the initiative has generated more than 30,000 arrests and 317,000 summonses throughout the five boroughs.
Operation Silent Night: In October 2002, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly launched Operation Silent Night to combat excessive noise, targeting 24 high-noise neighborhoods throughout the City. Intensive enforcement measures include the use of sound meters, towing of vehicles, seizure of audio equipment, summonses, fines, and arrests. Since the initiative was launched, Operation Silent Night has resulted in the issuance of 204,564 summonses (which includes parking violations and moving violations, Criminal Court summonses, and DEP noise violations). Operation Silent Night has also proven an effective crime-fighting tool, yielding over 15,683 arrests. In addition, over 200 vehicles have been seized.
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Paul Browne (646) 610-6700
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