New York City officials are swelling with pride – and rightfully so – after preliminary figures from 2016 show a significant reduction in the city’s crime rates.
Last year, there were just over 4,300 fewer crimes reported in New York City than the year before, a decrease of a little more than 4 percent, according to data released by the NYPD. In addition, shootings in the city were down more than 12 percent, with less than 1,000 shootings for the entire year, the lowest reported rates since the mid-1990s.
“We didn’t just break the record on the low number of shootings in NYC, we shattered it,” New York City Police Chief Michael Shea said during a press conference.
Murders were also down by 4.8 percent. There was nearly 9 percent fewer robberies and burglaries dropped by 14.6 percent. In fact, the only crime that saw in increase in 2016 was felonious assaults, which jumped by just over two percent.
“Two-thousand sixteen was the safest year ever in the history of New York City,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “We have been working hard at reducing crime to historic lows, when many said it could not be done. And we have reduced crime despite upticks in violence in many other cities across America.”
O’Neill praised the city’s Neighborhood Policing program, which he said has impacted the department’s fight against crime by helping to address community concerns while building trust between those communities and law enforcement.
“I am thankful to the men and women of this department who put on the uniform every day,” O’Neill said, adding, “And to those members of the public who join us in the collective responsibility we all share in keeping this great city safe.”
Likewise, Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the public and law enforcement officers alike for their efforts in making “New York the safest big city in America.” The mayor also noted crime rates were reduced despite fewer arrests and a decrease in the number of stop and frisk incidents.
“This is an amazing moment for New York City,” de Blasio said. “Crimes are being stopped before they happen because the focus is on the right people and the right places.”
O’Neill said law enforcement officials have “zeroed in” on the relatively small group of people responsible for a large portion of the city’s violent crime.
“We are picking them off one by one or, in many cases, dozens by dozens,” O’Neill said.