Crime in New York City fell at a record-breaking rate in September, the NYPD said Tuesday, with homicides, shootings and other serious offenses dropping to the lowest level in the modern era of record keeping.
There were 15 fewer homicides in September compared to the same period in 2016, a drop of 42.9 percent. Shootings plunged by nearly 28 percent for the month, according to the latest NYPD data. Overall, the month saw a 5.3 percent drop in all serious felonies, or 458 fewer offenses than September 2016, the records showed.
The city had 20 homicides in September.
Coming on the heels of similar record-breaking drops in other months this year, the city has seen 24 percent fewer homicides in 2017 and a nearly similar reduction in shootings, said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea at a briefing for reporters on the latest Compstat data.
Overall felonies, including homicides, robberies, grand larcenies and other serious offenses, have now declined by nearly 6 percent so far in 2017 compared with the same time period in 2016, NYPD officials said.
“I have been in this business a long time, I have been going to Compstat [meetings] since 1996, and to have a year like last year and a year like this year, is a tremendous amount of work by everybody in this city, not just the NYPD,” said Commissioner James O’Neill, who presided over the briefing with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“The safest big city in America just beat its own record with the safest September in the modern era,” said De Blasio, referring to 1994 when the Compstat method of tracking crime took hold in the city.
After the first three quarters of 2017, the city finds itself on track to end the year with falling homicide and shooting rates that just a few years ago seemed unthinkable. If current trends continue, the city could end 2017 with between 260 and 270 homicides, compared with the 335 in 2016. After shootings dipped to below 1,000 for the first time last year, the five boroughs are on a pace to see about 800 shootings in 2017.
Both De Blasio and O’Neill attribute the continuing crime decline to the NYPD’s relatively new emphasis on neighborhood policing designed by O’Neill under former commissioner William Bratton.
“It is making a difference every single day in this city and also evidence that we can address crime everywhere,” de Blasio said.