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NYC sees another record low for crime in November

NYPD statistics set up the possibility that 2018 could beat the record lows set in 2017, particularly for homicides and shootings.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, with Mayor Bill de

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaks Tuesday about the November monthly crime statistics report at NYPD headquarters. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

New York City hit another record low for crime in November, setting up the possibility that 2018 could beat the record lows set in 2017, particularly for homicides and shootings.

For the seven major crime categories such as homicide, felonious assault, burglary and robbery, New York City saw crime drop 5 percent in November, compared with the same period in 2017, making it the lowest level for November in the modern era of police record keeping, officials said Tuesday.

The big drops in November were in homicides, which dipped 25 percent over the monthly total last year, followed by burglaries, which fell 15.8 percent, and robberies, which dipped 11.8 percent, the latest police data showed.

When numbers for the year-to-date are analyzed, the major crime categories were down about 1.5 percent from 2017. As of midnight Monday, the city has seen 269 homicides, the same for the period in 2017. Shootings, which aren’t listed as a major crime category, so far have totaled 705 incidents, compared with 729 in 2017, the latest NYPD data showed.

Talking about the latest crime statistics at a news conference Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill chalked up the new statistics to a combination of neighborhood policing strategies and targeted enforcement action against gangs, as well as smart use of technology.

“Month after month of record new lows proves that neighborhood policing coupled with targeted enforcement is a winning formula,” de Blasio said in a statement.

Privately, some NYPD brass expect that if current trends hold up, the city should come under last year’s record low of 790 shootings and might match or dip below 2017’s record low of 292 homicides. The modern era of police record keeping began with the introduction of CompStat in 1994.

Still, there are a few problem areas, notably in the Bronx and northern Queens, which have experienced increases in killings in 2018. Lori Pollock, NYPD chief of crime control strategies, also pointed out that rape complaints continue to show an increase, which has occurred for the past two years.

Asked about observations by some criminologists that it has yet to be shown that community policing leads to a drop in crime, O’Neill said the department has commissioned a study by the RAND Corp. to evaluate neighborhood policing. The first part of the evaluation should be done next year, while the study is expected to be done in two years, O’Neill said.

“There is clearly a community element to this, there is no question in my mind,” de Blasio said about the neighborhood policing strategy, which is aimed at involving communities in greater cooperation with police. De Blasio said he believed the initiative had led to the continued reduction in crime in the city.

“It is the information our officers receive from the community members that is a piece of the question,” de Blasio insisted, emphasizing the trust cops are building with neighborhoods.

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