Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: January 6, 1997

Release #006-97

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958 or Marilyn Mode (212) 374-6700


New FBI Statistics Show New York City Continues to Drive National Decrease in Crime

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir announced that, according to statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, total index crime fell three percent nationwide in the first six months of 1996, while New York City showed a more significant decline of 10.5 percent. The FBI's preliminary Uniform Crime Reports for the first six months of 1996 show that New York City ranks 144th among 189 American cities with populations over 100,000 for total crime. New York City's ranking of 144 tops the City's 136 ranking for the same period in 1995.

The report shows that New York City -- which accounted for 69.7% of the nation's crime decrease in 1995 -- continues to lead the country in the last three years in the fight against crime. The City's performance in the first half of 1996 is even more remarkable in light of preliminary New York City Police Department statistics for the entire 1996 year which show that, since 1993, New York City has experienced the largest decrease in total crime of any large American city, with a decline of over 38 percent. At a press conference at the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn, the Mayor and Police Commissioner thanked and congratulated the men and women of the New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies for their commitment to preventing violent crime and to improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

Mayor Giuliani said, "New York City has just experienced its safest year since 1968 in serious crimes. We have seen overall crime reduced by over 38 percent over the last three consecutive years, the result of the collaboration between and among police officers, correction officers, parole officers and by our court system. It also has been accomplished because of vital community involvement which has helped to bring the crime rate down to its lowest level in years."

Commissioner Safir said, "The FBI's latest statistics reflect the dedication of each and every member of this Department to reducing crime, and the fear of crime, and to returning to law abiding New Yorkers their streets and their neighborhoods. They also reflect the fact that New York City continues to drive the nation's decrease in crime. With murders decreasing to their lowest level since 1968 and crime continuing to plummet in each category, 1996 was an exciting time for the New York City Police Department. But as Police Commissioner, I know we cannot simply rely on our past successes. We will continue to work in 1997 to remove guns and drugs from our City streets, while undertaking new initiatives to build on these successes and continue to improve the quality of life for the many millions of people who live in, work in, and visit our great City."

The FBI's preliminary report, comprised of crime data from 189 cities for the first six months of 1996, shows that while nationwide crime is down in each of the seven major categories, New York City experienced more dramatic decreases in each of these categories as compared to the rest of the country. Violent crimes committed against persons, for example, decreased 5 percent nationwide, while dropping over 12 percent in New York City.

In several categories, New York City also fared better than its overall crime ranking of 144, with a ranking of 166 in Property Crime, 170 in Larceny Theft, and 151 in burglary. In addition to these figures released today, preliminary New York Police Department statistics show an overall crime decrease of over 38 percent since 1993, including an almost 50 percent decline in homicides, bringing murder down to its lowest level since 1968.

It should be noted that each year the number of cities listed in the FBI's UCR calculations vary, e.g., for calendar year 1995, New York City ranked 150th, with 203 cities reporting.

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