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NYPD: New York City just missed low crime record for June; 2018 homicide, rape rates up

Police continue to see problems in the Bronx and north Brooklyn, however, where there have been increases in homicides and other kinds of violence, officials said.

NYPD chief of crime control strategies Lori Pollock.

NYPD chief of crime control strategies Lori Pollock. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

In June, New York City just missed matching its lowest crime report ever for that month by 28 incidents, a top NYPD official said Wednesday.

Chief Lori Pollock, head of crime control strategies, said in an interview that the monthly crime results, which will be released in full on Monday, show that in a city of more than 8 million people, the record was missed by a tiny margin.

"When you think about how large a city — that is not very much," Pollock noted.

The June report comes at time when, with 2018 half over, the city continues to see crime drop compared to 2017, which was a record-setting year. However, officials also note that police are still seeing troublesome increases in homicides, as well as other kinds of violence, in parts of the Bronx and north Brooklyn.

NYPD statistics through July 1 show that overall, serious violent felonies such as assaults and shootings have declined two percent from 2017. But the data also showed homicides are up 6.6 percent, while rapes continue to increase by 34 percent, a trend which has been consistent for the past few months.

With the pace of the crime decline appearing to slow somewhat from 2017 and an increase of violence in parts of the city — underscored by the recent gang attack in the Bronx which took the life of 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz — some law enforcement officials are wondering if New York is finally reaching the basement in decades of crime declines.

“It looks like we are bouncing off the bottom,” said ex-NYPD detective sergeant Joseph Giacalone, who teaches investigative tactics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

But Pollock pushed back on this, saying, “How can we say we can’t get lower?"

Eleven months ago, Pollock said, the department hired 100 civilian analysts well-versed in computer analysis to identify crime patterns and networks around the city. They work by mapping relationships between things like guns, people and telephone numbers.

“We are seeing a lot of dividends already,” Pollock said, without giving specifics. 

Problems remain in the Bronx and northern Brooklyn, where eight of 10 police precincts have seen increases in violent crimes this year.

Bronx homicides have increased 64 percent over 2017, including a doubling in the past 28 days. North Brooklyn, meanwhile, has seen an uptick in robberies and thefts, which prompted a redeployment of officers to hotspots, Pollock noted.

One police commander, who did not want to be identified, said that some officers have become less proactive out of fear they may be captured on body camera or social media videos doing something wrong.

However, Police Commissioner James O’Neill has derided the notion that cops hold back out of fear of criticism.

Richard Aborn, head of the non-profit Citizens Crime Commission, stressed that a turnaround is still possible before the year ends.

Summer is normally a time when violent crime peaks and there is still time for things to change — for better or worse, he said.

“We are only half way through the year,” Aborn said. “ Let's see how it ends up.”

New York City Serious Crimes Through July 1, 2018

Crime………………………….2018………..2017……………Change

Homicide………………………146…………..137……………..+6.6 percent

Rape…………………………….912……………680………………+34.1 percent

Robbery………………………..6,216………6,658…….……….-6.6 percent

Felony Assault………………9,825……….9,911…………….-0.9 percent

Burglary…………………………5,496………5,800……………..-5.7  percent

Grand Larceny………………20,488………20,767…………...-1.3 percent

Grand Larceny Auto…………2,469…......2,515…………….-1.8 percent

Total………………………………..45,525……46,468…………….-2.0 percent

Shooting incidents……………..343………….365…………………-6.0 percent

Source: NYPD Compstat data

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