NYPD keeps pressure on gun violence as number of crimes decrease in February

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NYPD on an uptown A train on Feb. 14, 2021.
Photo by Mark Hallum

The city has continued to see declines in crime across most categories throughout the month of February, statistics show.

According to the NYPD, overall crime fell 26.5% compared to the rates in February 2020. The reduction is said to be driven by a 40.45 decrease in grand larcenies, down to 2,068 from 3,471 in 2020, and a 32.7% drop in robberies, down from 1,175 in 2020 to 791 in 2021.

The number of murders decreased from 22 in February 2020 to 21 in February 2021, though the number of shooting incidents increased from 44 in 2020 to 77 in 2021, a 75% increase overall. Felonious assault took a 7.9% dip, dropping to 1,315 from 1,428 in 2020.

“As New York City emerges from one of its most challenging periods, the public safety of all New Yorkers will be essential to our collective success,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “The men and women of the NYPD are resilient and up to the challenge before us.   Not only are they going in harm’s way to drive down violence like never before, they are also connecting with the communities they serve in innovative, impactful ways.”


Burglaries have seen a 17.1% drop, with 797 crimes in 2021 compared to 961 in 2020, while auto thefts took a 15.5% uptick with 543 crimes last month. Rape crimes dropped 26.2% with 96 reported crimes, though the NYPD acknowledges that rapee continues to be underreported. If you have been a victim of sexual assault the NYPD Special Victims Division’s 24-hour hotline is 212-267-RAPE (7273). 

The number of hate-motivated crimes fell 42% year over year, with a total of 36 in February 2021. However, hate crimes based on sexual orientation grew 100% (3 in February 2020 to 6 in February 2021), and the highest number of hate crimes were targeted towards Jewish, Black and Asian communities.

The NYPD says that the prevalence of gun violence remains their central focus, with investigators working closely with local, state and federal partners to build strong cases against those who traffic, sell or use illegal firearms. Gun arrests are maintaining record highs across the five boroughs, with 400 total in February 2021, a 63.9% increase compared to February 2020. Patrol Borough Bronx and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North are leading the way with 117 and 94 arrests, respectively.

Due to these crime trends, the NYPD is shifting personnel to areas experiencing an uptick in violence. Additionally, precision policing allows investigators to pay close attention to those very few criminals who are the persistent drivers of violence.