New York Daily News

Cease fire!

Shootings drop, so don’t fear: NYPD

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THESE AREN’T “the bad old days” — and haven’t been for a while.

Through June 30, the city recorded 435 shootings, compared with 545 during the same time frame last year — making the first half of 2016 the safest period for gun violence since the NYPD began compiling reliable statistics, police said Monday.

The decline follows a downward trend in citywide crime that coincides with historic lows in burglaries, robberies and car thefts.

Dermot Shea, the NYPD’s deputy commission­er of operations, said the 110 fewer shooting incidents have also resulted in 121 fewer gunshot victims.

“These are not minor ebbs and flows. These are significan­t drops,” he said.

Despite the numbers, Police Commission­er Bill Bratton said there often appears to be “a disconnect” between perception of public safety and reality.

“For 26 years, we’ve been documentin­g crime going down every year. You can’t argue that this is a more dangerous city,” he said.

To hammer the point home, Bratton compared the 2,245 homicides in 1990 — the highest total recorded — with the current rate of about 315 to 320 expected murders this year.

Speaking to public fears, Bratton said, “I just don’t understand it when we report these types of numbers.

“We hear it all the time and it frustrates us because those cops are out there working very, very hard, and the numbers should speak for themselves.”

Shea said the drop in shooting incidents is directly related to the increase in gun-related arrests.

Through the first half of the year, police made 1,820 gun-related arrests in which a firearm was also recovered — a 20% increase from 2015.

Shea added that June saw 94 shootings — the 10th straight month with fewer than 100. The streak is the longest since the NYPD began tracking gunplay, he said.

Despite the drop in shootings, slashings and stabbings were up for the year.

Knife attacks jumped 9% — an increase of 180 incidents — by the end of June.

That number is actually down from the alarming spike in slashing and stabbings the city saw earlier this year. Those incidents were up as much as 20% through March when compared with the first three months of 2015.

Police say the Bronx accounted for the vast majority — 86% — of those crimes.

Rape was also up the first six months of the year, police said. There have been 695 cases, up June saw total shootings. That was the 10th straight month with fewer than such incidents. The NYPD said the streak is the longest since it began tracking gunplay. Overall, citywide crime is about even with last year. So far there have been 7.3% from the 648 reported at the halfway mark in 2015.

The NYPD breaks rape down into three categories — stranger, acquaintan­ce and domestic. Shea said rapes by strangers account for 8% of complaints, a decrease from the same time period last year. So far, there have been 59 such incidents reported. There were 71 through June 30, 2015. major crimes compared with year – an increase of or last crimes,

Overall, citywide crime is about even with last year. So far there have been 48,309 reported major crimes compared with 48,256 — an increase of just 0.1%, or 53 crimes.

The increase has been fueled mostly by a spike in domestic violence in the Bronx and property crimes, primarily grand larcenies, in Manhattan.

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