Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at the New York State Association of Chiefs...

Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police and New York State Sheriff’s Association Leadership Conference in Albany on Thursday. Credit: Office of Governor / Darren McGee

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday that the latest preliminary figures show violent crime outside of New York City declined in the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2022.

Hochul also reported that violent crime in New York City during the first half of this year dropped in four of the five categories. The most significant drop, Hochul said, was the number of homicides, rapes and robberies, which each declined 10% in the first half of the year compared with the first half of 2022.

“These trends are proof positive that our smart, strategic investments and strong local, state and federal partnerships are making a difference in neighborhoods and communities across the state,” Hochul said. “Keeping New Yorkers safe is my administration’s top priority.”

Hochul told the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police and New York State Sheriff’s Association Leadership Conference on Thursday that homicides and shootings statewide are “lower than they’ve been since before the pandemic, which was historically low.”

However, Hochul also reported “double-digit increases” in motor vehicle thefts in and outside New York City and a 3% increase in larcenies reported outside New York City.

The specific numbers for these and some other crimes announced in the report Thursday weren’t immediately reported. No breakdown by counties or regions was released.

The Democratic majorities of the Senate and Assembly had no immediate comment. Hochul didn’t release the data publicly.

Hochul reported that statewide, outside New York City:

  • Violent crimes involving a firearm decreased in the first half of this year to 2,046, from 2,443 in the first half of 2022, a 16% drop.
  • Shooting incidents with injuries totaled 686 for the first half of this year, compared with 914 in the first half of 2022, a 25% decline.
  • Shooting incidents in which someone was killed totaled 121 so far this year through Oct. 29, compared with 181 for the same period in 2022, a 33% decline.

In New York City, Hochul said:

  • Shooting incidents totaled 849 this year up until Sunday, down from 1,144 during the same period a year ago, a 26% decrease.
  • The number of individuals injured by gunfire was 999 this year as of Sunday, down from 1,390 for the same period a year ago for a 28% decrease.
  • For the first half of this year compared with the first half of last year in New York City, transit system crimes dropped 4%, petit larceny dropped 2% and burglaries dropped 2%.

Hochul’s announcement provided an update before the year’s crimes are compiled by the FBI for its national analysis of crime.

Crime was a top issue in Hochul’s election campaign a year ago. Republican nominee Lee Zeldin of Shirley portrayed New York as being overrun with crime and he blamed it on the policies of Hochul and the Democrats who control the Senate and Assembly.

Chief among those criticisms was the state’s bail law passed by the State Legislature before Hochul took office. It ended cash bail for most nonviolent crimes, but Hochul twice made changes to the law to provide judges with more latitude in ordering suspects to post bail before they are released if the judge believes the suspect was a danger to the community.

At the meeting with police Thursday, Hochul sought to further assert her pro-law enforcement credentials and to show her support for police as some crimes become more prevalent.

“We're seeing spikes of different crimes in different parts of the state,” Hochul said.

She noted rising challenges include hate crimes on college campuses following the October attack by Hamas against Israel, the need to crack down on illegal cannabis sales as the state tries to support sellers who have been vetted as part of the state’s legal cannabis program, and rising car thefts. She said Rochester has the highest rate of car thefts in the nation.

Hochul said the administration is also focusing on retail theft.

“We have some announcements for our State of the State coming out on this initiative,” she said, referring to her annual speech in January that sets the legislative priorities for the year. 

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