New York City will likely end 2016 with the lowest level of shootings in modern history and could come close to dipping under 100,000 serious crimes, also a record, NYPD officials said Wednesday.
The crime numbers are shaping up to make 2016 a “stellar year” for the city, said Dermot Shea, chief of crime control strategies for the NYPD, during a briefing with reporters.
“Last year we came in at 105,000 major index crimes,” said Shea, referring to the seven serious felonies tracked by the NYPD. “I predict with ten days left we will fall between 101,000 and 102,000.”
The city has seen a four percent reduction in the major seven felonies such as homicide and robbery to 98,000, with decreases in all areas except for felonious assault compared to 2015, officials said. The final crime statistics for 2016 will be the subject of a news conference in early January, officials said.
Shootings have been on a mostly downward spiral all year and through Wednesday, had dropped 12 percent from 2015, according to police data.
“We are going to come in at about 1,000 shooting incidents and we have never been before below 1,100,” Shea said in reference to the modern uniform method of NYPD record keeping that began in 1994 with the advent of the Compstat system.
By contrast, violence-plagued Chicago, which has about one third the population of New York, has seen 3,441 shootings this year, a jump of 47 percent over 2015. Los Angeles, the nations’s second largest municipality, is reporting 2,401 shots-fired incidents through December 3, an increase of 7.2 percent over 2015.
In a continuation of an almost nonstop downward trend since the 1990s, homicides are also tracking at about four percent below last year and through Dec. 18, numbered 325. In 2015 the city reported 352 killings, including some cases reclassified from prior years. Police officials believe there is a chance New York will hit 340 homicides in 2016, although reclassifications make such predictions difficult.
Meanwhile, Chicago has reported 738 killings this year, a level not seen in New York since 1997. Los Angeles has reported 274 homicides.
Shea credited several police initiatives in the city for driving down the shootings, including a concentrated effort against gangs and coordinated intelligence gathering. Cops have carried out a number of sweeps against gangs in Brooklyn and Manhattan.