The first half of this year saw a nearly 25% decrease in shootings compared with the same period last year, according to crime data released by the NYPD on Thursday.
That equates to 482 total shootings for the first six months of this year, down from 636 during the same time frame in 2023; moreover, 196 fewer New Yorkers were shot so far this year than last, police brass said during a Thursday press conference at the NYPD’s lower Manhattan headquarters.
“So for in 2023, nearly 200 fewer New Yorkers have been shot compared to the first six months of 2022,” acting Police3 Commissioner Edward Caban said.
“Again, that is not just a number, these are hundreds of real people, hundreds of families who were spared the devastating impacts of gun violence,” he continued. “But again, until shootings and shooting victims are down 100%, we will never be satisfied with just the numbers. And as I said before, one shooting victim is one too many.”
Five of the seven major index crimes also fell over the first half of the year, NYPD officials said. That was reflected in reductions of nearly 8% in murders, just shy of 10% in rapes, close to 5% in robberies, roughly 10% in burglaries and a little over 1% in grand larcenies.
The continued decline in shootings over last year was fueled in part by a close to 17% drop in the incidents over the past month when held against the same span of last year — 104 down from 125, according to NYPD data. Murders have also declined by 3% over the past month.
Caban — who took over as the city’s temporary top cop last Saturday after his predecessor Keechant Sewell resigned at the end of last month — said the stats are the result of Mayor Eric Adams administration’s focus on combating gun crimes.
“From the beginning of this administration, we made the fight against gun violence our top priority,” Caban said. “We will continue to address it because there are still far too many illegal guns on our streets, and too many criminals willing to carry them and pull the trigger. Our focus on guns, which plagues communities all across our nation, has led to clear tangible change here in New York City.”
The department has seized about 3,200 handguns this year, a slight drop from last year, according to Michael Lipetri, chief of the department’s office of crime control strategies.
“The last three years of gun arrests and gun seizures are all record highs, you have to go back 27 years to get similar numbers,” Lipetri said.
But the main unit responsible for the decrease in shootings under Adams’ administration, the so-called “Neighborhood Safety Teams,” came under fire in a report authored by the NYPD’s independent monitor last month for unlawfully using stop and frisk tactics on mostly Black and brown New Yorkers.
Overall index crime, which includes the seven major crime categories, also fell during June by nearly 4%, in comparison with the same four weeks in 2022. That reduction came from declines in five of the seven major crimes including 3% in murders, 24% in rapes, 9% in robbery and nearly 25% in burglaries.
Car thefts, however, shot up by nearly 23% compared to last June, police honchos said. Lipetri said the rise in car thefts is mostly due to an alleged trend where teens are encouraged to hijack Kia and Hyundai vehicles through social media.
The cars are particularly vulnerable to theft because of a manufacturing defect that allows their ignitions to be turned by phone charging cables.