NYC ends year with sharp drop in murder rate
USA - New York City is on track to record a sharp drop in murders for 2017, down 14.5% over the last year, according to New York Police Department records.
The city recorded 278 homicides for the year as of 17 December, compared with 325 at the same point last year. The figures include the eight victims of an October attack allegedly by an Islamic State-inspired extremist. Numbers of felony assaults, burglaries and auto theft cases also decreased in 2017, compared with the prior year, along with a 10% drop in robberies.
Police commissioner James O’Neill said at a news conference that the city was seeing the lowest number of index crimes – willful homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny over $50, motor vehicle theft and arson – “since the 50s.”
The number of times police fired their weapons during an incident also dropped sharply in 2017, from 23 incidents as of 17 December, compared with 37 incidents in 2016.
O’Neill credited a focus on curbing gang violence coupled with a policy of neighborhood policing as significant reasons for the drop in crime. “No one knows better than the people patrolling those sectors and the people that live there what’s actually happening,” O’Neill said, adding that he hopes to make neighborhood policing a citywide strategy next year.
The murder rate peaked in New York in the early 1990s, when upwards of 2,000 homicides were recorded annually. (The Guardian)