In New York City, crime is looking good. New York City murder rates are at a record low number, and there are a few reasons why. Learn all about the decrease in murder and what it means for the city.
According to the New York City Police Department, murder is at a record low. Although the statistics only account for crime in the first eight months of 2017, this year’s murder rate is on track for a historic low. If the trend continues for a few more months, the record will be official.
As of September 1, 2017, the number of homicides dropped 22.5% from the number of homicides in the same period last year. By September 1, 2016, there were 231 homicides in the city. Yet by September 1 of this year, there were only 179 homicides. That shows a significant drop in homicides. And if it continues through to January 1, the homicide rate will be lower than ever.
In 2014, New York City murder rates were at an all-time low. There were a total of 333 homicides that year. If homicides continue to stay low this year, the 2017 homicide rate will break that record. According to the Chief of Crime Control Strategies, the city is on track to have about 300 homicides by the end of the year.
Other Types of Crime are Down
While New York City murder rates are breaking records, other crime is also looking better. This year, the city has had about 523 shootings. Last year, there were 678 shootings in the same period of time. With a 22.86% drop, shootings have drastically decreased. This number is so low that it could set an all-time record. If the trend continues into January, there would only be about 800 shootings by January 1. Like homicides, shootings have also had a downward trend in the city. In 2016, the city had a record-low of 998 shootings.
In general, major crimes are looking good. They are down by 6.3% from 2016. That year, there were 67,435 major crimes from January to September. In 2017, there have been only 63,157 major crimes. This trend could bring about another record. If major crimes remain low, there could be under 100,000 major crimes in the city this year. Such a thing has never happened. However, in 2016 the city came close. There were 102,000 crimes that year. For 2017, there have only been 54,000. With only a few months left, it seems likely that the city will make it to under 100,000.
The Factors Contributing to Lower New York City Murder and Crime
While it’s impossible to say for sure why crime is better in the city this year, there are a few guesses. First, there’s the effort put forth by the police department. The department recently pushed to fight gangs and target street crews. They also targeted repeat offenders. By shifting focus to these criminals, they caused a decrease in shootings. With fewer weapons and criminals on the street, New York City has murder rates that are lower than ever.
Another reason for the decrease in crime could be more precision in their approach. The NYPD changed the way they handled crime in minority neighborhoods. In the past, they would stop and frisk individuals. However, that tactic came under fire. People criticized it because it was invasive and discriminatory. Now, the police take a more precise approach. They waste less time on innocent bystanders and focus on the criminals. As a result, there is less crime.
Although it’s likely that the police had a lot to do with the improved crime statistics in the city, there may be more to it. Such a drastic change in crime rates usually requires a combination of factors. In this case, it may be a combination of police policy changes and the economy. Former NYPD police officer and current John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Eugene O’Donnell believes that the economy is to thank. He believes that there may be more to it than policing. With an economy that’s on the rise, he thinks that the city is more alive than ever. As a result, there is less crime. He believes that the police need to continue to perform well to maintain the good New York City murder and crime rates.
O’Donnell also believes that it’s less important to consider why the drop in crime is happening, and more important to notice it. He stated that the drastic decrease in crime shows that there’s always room for improvement. Although he gives the police force credit, he warns against complacency.
What It Means for You
New York City crime is lower than ever. While this is great news, it means that police are on the lookout. With less crime, police have more time to handle misdemeanor and lesser crimes. You may find yourself in trouble with the law. If you do, it’s important to contact a lawyer and get the help that you need. With murder and shootings on the decline, other crimes may be more noticeable.