- Title: New York City crime fell to historic low in 2016
- Date: 4th January 2017
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 4, 2017) (REUTERS) NYPD OFFICERS VARIOUS OF HEAVILY-ARMED NYPD POLICE OFFICERS
- Embargoed: 19th January 2017 21:05
- Keywords: crime New York police murder violent de Blasio mayor
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0045XO2EZP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Crime in New York City fell to a historic low last year, the police said on Wednesday (January 4) in a report showing that the largest U.S. city avoided the spike in murders that has battered other major American cities, including Chicago.
Overall, there were 101,606 crimes that police said they knew about during 2016, down 4 percent from 2015, police said.
There were 335 murders reported last year, down 5 percent from the 352 murders a year earlier, police said. The record for the fewest since the city started keeping reliable numbers in 1963 was 328 murders in 2014.
By way of comparison, Chicago, which has about one-third as many residents as New York's 8.6 million people, recorded 762 murders last year, more than twice as many killings as in New York.
That spike prompted President-elect Donald Trump to suggest on Monday that the city needed federal help.
The trendlines in New York pointed downward in nearly all categories of reported crime, as shootings fell 12 percent, rapes fell 1 percent, robberies fell 9 percent and burglaries fell 15 percent.
Reports of felony-level assaults were up 2 percent, while reports of grand larcenies were flat, according to police numbers.
Police, politicians and criminologists have hotly debated the reasons behind the sharp drop in U.S. crime since the early 1990s, when New York City had more than 2,000 murders a year.
"Crime has gone down three years running and we intend to drive it down again. It's as simple as that," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during a news conference on the issue.
"What's a better example than New York City? For decades and decades when people thought sadly of crime in cities, they thought of New York City. For a quarter century, there's been a systematic effort to turn it around and that story has been told beautifully here today. Starting with COMPSTAT (Computer Statistics) and all the changes in policing, right on up through the neighborhood policing strategies and the great work of our community partners. That is a model. It's not a model from some pristine suburb. A big, tough city proved, we proved, that you can turn crime around and that one of the crucial elements of turning crime around was getting away from the divisive use of stop-and-frisk and other things that drove a wedge between police and community. So I would say to Chicago and every other city, we have something here. It didn't come easy. It took a quarter century to perfect, but it's working. We're ready to work with all of our fellow cities on that, but what would be a step in the wrong direction is to cut off communication between police and community. That's only going to increase violence. It's not going to decrease it."
In a statement, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said, "2016 was the safest year ever in the history of New York City."
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