After months of precipitous declines in shootings, gunfire on the streets of New York has increased in recent months at a time when stop and frisk activity has dropped sharply, NYPD records show.
While overall shootings in 2013 still remain down 20.5% over last year, the sharp declines seen earlier have disappeared, with recent months showing spikes in shootings by as much as 11% according to the data. Although murders are down to historic levels, police have seen that decline from a high of 33% earlier in the year to the current level of 20%.
The monthly increase in shootings over some of the same periods in 2012 is an indicator being watched by criminologists and police to see if some street crime decline is bottoming out or is being impacted by a huge drop in stop and frisk actions by officers.
But an NYPD official, while acknowledging that shootings have spiked in recent months compared to last year, said the comparison is being impacted because the first half of 2012 had an unusually large number of shootings, prompting the department to go after street gangs.