NYPD: More shootings over pot than coke or heroin (VIDEO)

After several years of violent crime decreasing in New York, the Big Apple is struggling with a recent increase in murders and shootings, according to police statistics.

Though overall crime was down 11 percent in 2015, there was an approximate 20 percent increase in murders and shootings from the previous year – from 45 murders and 126 shootings in 2014 to 54 and 151 this year, respectively, NYPD told Guns.com Tuesday.

Authorities also say that more people are being killed over marijuana than cocaine and heroin, local media reported.

“These are all rip offs, these are not turf battles. These are rip offs of marijuana dealers, robberies. That’s where we’re coming from,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, TWC News reported.

Because pot is such big business, dealers are being targeted mostly in gang-related attacks that accompany robbery.

When looking at criminal arrests related to homicide, police find controlled substances and marijuana, the latter at a 2 to 1 percentage over the former, Deputy Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters.

“So marijuana is coming up repeatedly,” Shea said.