In Nassau, shootings involving injuries fell 37% last year, while...

In Nassau, shootings involving injuries fell 37% last year, while gun killings stayed flat, a new report shows. In Suffolk, shootings involving injuries declined 36%; killings involving guns declined 35%. Credit: Paul Mazza

LOUDONVILLE — A new report shows murders, shootings and violent crime outside New York City have declined to around pre-pandemic levels, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday.

Hochul, a Democrat who has pushed the State Legislature on some crime issues, also said State Police seizures of illegal guns have increased 160% in the last 2½ years. And she said troopers have increased the use of New York’s “red flag” law, which allows for the removal of guns from individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

But not all trends are in the same direction.

The statistics also show the state’s index of serious crimes moving upward overall — driven by a slight uptick in larcenies and a major spike in motor vehicle thefts.

Notably, the surge in vehicle thefts seems to be occurring upstate, whereas Nassau and Suffolk showed declines.

Hochul said increased funding for law enforcement has produced results.

“Outside of New York City, shootings are down 36% in the last two years. Murders are down 30% and, indeed, we’re back to the historic pre-pandemic lows of 2017 and 2019,” Hochul said at a news conference at State Police headquarters.

The governor pointed to statistics from localities that participate in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) program, which covers major counties outside the five boroughs.

Looking at comparable nine-month periods (January to September), the GIVE report shows murders declining 20% in 2023 from 2022 — and nearly to the 2019 level.

Rapes decreased 16% in 2023, compared with 2022.

Shooting incidents involving injuries declined 24% and the number of individuals killed in gun violence fell 33%.

The report provided local shootings data, covering all of 2023, for Nassau and Suffolk county police agencies, along with Hempstead Village.The three are the only ones on Long Island that participate in the GIVE program.

In Suffolk, shootings involving injuries declined 36%; killings involving guns declined 35%.

In Nassau, shootings involving injuries fell 37%, while gun killings stayed flat.

In Hempstead Village, the number of shootings involving injuries doubled to 16 from eight. The number of individuals killed by gun violence fell from three to one, the report said.

Statewide, the number of “red flag” orders issued in 2023 totaled 1,385 — an increase of more than 1,000% — and resulted in the seizure of more than 2,500 guns, the Hochul administration said.

In the first two months of 2024, another 290 orders were issued. The so-called red flag law was strengthened after the mass shooting at a supermarket in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo by a white supremacist.

“The law is working as I intended and it’s saving lives,” Hochul said.

Larcenies and car thefts show different trends.

The major counties in the GIVE data reported larcenies — theft of property, including retail theft — is up 1%.

But it was up 14% in Nassau — second only to Rockland County for the level of a one-year spike.

Suffolk reported a 4% increase.

Car theft declined 8% in Nassau in 2023, 4% in Suffolk.

Car theft increased overall, largely thanks to major spikes in the Buffalo (139%) and Rochester (288%) areas.

Hochul attributed it to an auto-theft challenge on TikTok, the video hosting service, in which teenagers and young adults competed to steal the most vehicles. She said a new crackdown strategy has resulted in declines in 2024.

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