Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: December 31, 1996

Release #691-96

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir announced preliminary year-end crime statistics at a press conference in Times Square today, highlighting the most extraordinary three-year crime drop in New York City s modern history.

When the ball comes down in Times Square tonight it will be coming down in one of the safest cities in America, Mayor Giuliani said. We ve had three straight years of double- digit declines, and murders are down nearly 50 percent. And this comes as the result of the fine work of the New York City Police Department as well as the Department of Corrections, the courts, and prosecutors. Just as important, the contributions of the community to our success cannot be underestimated. We really have something to be proud of.

Our anti-drug initiatives in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx have helped achieve an unprecedented third year of steep declines in the major felonies, Commissioner Safir said. The NYPD s proactive, strategic approach to controlling crime and disorder has paid major dividends in safety and security in every precinct in the city.

The preliminary statistics through December 22nd show that crime -- as measured by the seven major felonies -- is down 15.7 percent in 1996 or 48,016 fewer crimes than in 1995. Since 1993, felony crime has fallen 38.9 percent or 163,428 fewer crimes. The total number of crime complaints in 1996 was lowest in 27 years.

Murder is down 16.6 percent in 1996 and 49.1 percent since 1993. There were 925 fewer murders in New York City in 1996 than in 1993. The preliminary murder total of 981 for 1996 marks the first time there were fewer than 1,000 murders in New York City since 1968 and the lowest murder total since 1967. Shooting incidents have fallen 21.7 percent in 1996 and 51.9 percent since 1993. There were 2,907 fewer shooting victims in 1996 than in 1993. Nineteen percent of murder victims were killed by strangers in 1996 compared with 37 percent in 1993.

Police attribute the steep crime declines to strategic changes in the police department s crime-fighting approach since Mayor Giuliani took office, including intensified enforcement of misdemeanors and other quality-of-life offenses, a highly focused attack on felony crime achieved through the CompStat process, and the impact of the anti-drug initiatives mounted in 1996.

The NYPD s anti-drug initiatives are rooting out drug gangs and drug trafficking organizations in narcotics-ridden precincts in Lower Manhattan, Upper Manhattan, the central Bronx, and the ten precincts of Brooklyn North. Crime is down 21.9 percent in the Brooklyn North precincts and 15.9 percent in the other precincts where the initiatives are active.

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