Hate crimes, subway incidents spike in first 3 months of 2017

Hate crimes and incidents on the subway have spiked citywide in the first three months of 2017, while general crime is at an all-time low, city officials said Monday.

Hate crimes are up across the city with 144 incidents through April 2, compared to only 72 for the same period last year. Most of those are anti-Semitic crimes, said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, with an uptick in anti-black incidents as well.

Many of the hate crimes are not violent, Boyce said.

Crime in the subways were also up with 37 more transit crimes this year compared to the first three months last year. The NYPD is focusing on repeat offenders, Deputy Commissioner of Operations Dermot Shea said.

“We had a bit of a rocky patch, particularly in Brooklyn and in the Bronx, grand larceny related in transit,” Shea said. “And it’s a perfect example of what one or two recidivists can do in a short period of time.”

Crime overall though has dipped by 5.2 percent so far this year, making it the safest first quarter in modern history and continuing the trend of crime dropping, according to Shea.

There was a 23 percent decrease in shootings this year, compared to 2016 — when the fewest total shooting incidents were recorded, she said. And there were 61 homicides through the first three months of the year, compared to 68 for the same time period last year.

The number of arrests have also dropped by about 10 percent. Shea credited the NYPD’s work with the community for the general decline in crime.

“Last year we said that we believed crime could go lower,” Shea said. “We talk about precision policing; it’s become now an efficient precision combined with community engagement.”

In March, there were 18 murders reported, compared to 28 in March 2016; and there were 949 robberies, compared to 1,168 in March of last year.

“This is the safest quarter in the modern era,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at the Critical Response Command Headquarters on Randall’s Island. “And that’s an amazing achievement.”

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