FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND COMMISSIONER KELLY ANNOUNCE THAT CITY IS ON COURSE TO HAVE ANOTHER YEAR OF DECLINING CRIME
City Has Had Fewer Than 600 Murders Seven Years Running
City on Track for Second-Lowest Ever Number of Murders Since Comparable Records Have Been Kept
Despite Economic Slowdown, Crime Continues to Fall in Every Borough
Since 2001, Steep Drops in All Categories; Rapes Have Declined by Over One-third Since 2001
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that crime in New York City fell again in 2008, marking the eighteenth straight year in which major felony crime has declined. Included in the most recent crime statistics are reductions in every borough and in nearly every category. Overall, major felony crime in New York City has fallen four percent this year compared to last year, and nearly thirty percent since 2001. The City is on track to record the second-lowest number of murders since comparable records have been kept - second only to the number recorded in 2007. The announcement took place at One Police Plaza, following a promotions ceremony where 107 police officers were designated detective.
"Before 2002, the City had never recorded fewer than 600 murders a year - but now we'll do it seven years running," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The continuing reduction of crime is a testament to the quality of our police force - the finest in the world - and to our determination to find innovative ways of turning up the heat on criminals. In the months after 9/11 - when the economic outlook was particularly bleak - we were determined to make our streets safer and more livable. Thanks to the men and women of the NYPD, we achieved it. For that, New York's Finest deserve our praise, they put their lives on the line every day to keep the rest of us safe, and over the past seven years they have produced some amazing results."
"Supported by technology advances like the Real Time Crime Center, the men and women of the NYPD accomplished what many said could not be done: that is, drive crime to 'impossible' lows beyond what was achieved by 2001," said Commissioner Kelly. "By the end of 2008, crime has been cut by more than 28 percent from where it stood in 2001. We've experienced the second lowest murder rate (last year was the lowest) since comparable records were kept, beginning 45 years ago. Subway crime is the lowest in memory. We have a great deal to celebrate and for which to be grateful as the year comes to a close."
"The steps we have taken to keep New Yorkers safer are paying off," said John Feinblatt, the Mayor's Criminal Justice Coordinator. "New York City now has the toughest law in the country against illegal possession of a loaded gun, and that has increased the length of sentences for gun criminals. We have also successfully sued out-of-state gun dealers who sold illegally and toughened enforcement here at home, all to keep police officers and the people they protect safer."
In addition to declines in crime across crime categories and boroughs, crime also fell in the City's public housing and in the subway system. Violent crimes also declined, felony assaults dropped 8 percent compared to last year and more than 31 percent compared to 2001.
Crime has not declined in every precinct, and the Police Department continues to target high crime areas with Operation Impact. Under Operation Impact, specially designated Impact Zones in areas experiencing upticks in crime are flooded with teams of rookie and veteran police officers. The most recent phase of Operation Impact, which began in July of this year, has driven crime down by 16% in those zones. Since the program began in January 2003, reductions of up to 30 percent have been recorded.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)