NYC Keeps Getting Safer as Murders, Robberies Decline

(Bloomberg) -
new york crime
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (L) and Police Commissioner O’Neill at a press conference last week to discuss New Year’s Eve security. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

New York City experienced another record-setting crime reduction in 2018, continuing a more than two-decade decline that has cut the number of homicides to a fraction of the 2,000 seen in 1990, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.

The city recorded its second consecutive year of less than 300 homicides, with 289 last year, down from 292 in 2017. There were fewer than 800 shootings for the second consecutive year, and robberies and burglaries fell to a record low, according to police department statistics.

O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio attributed the continuing success to the department’s emphasis on better relations with minority communities and organized neighborhood-based anti-violence efforts.

“It’s unbelievable to think how far we’ve come,” de Blasio said. “We’re in the new normal now and we intend to go farther.”

The steady drop in crime coincided with record reductions in the city jail population and a rollback in the so-called stop-and-frisk practices of New York police officers, a tactic sharply reduced after civil rights advocates cited data showing it was disproportionately used in minority neighborhoods. There were 94 percent fewer stop-and-frisk street encounters between police and city residents since the practice peaked before de Blasio took office in 2014.