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Queens Chronicle

Murder rate falls even further

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Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:42 am, Thu Jul 11, 2013.

Homicides in the city, already at a record low rate since reliable records have been kept, are on track to fall even further this year, according to a New York Times story citing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as the source.

The number of killings in the city during the first half of 2013 was 154, The Times reported Kelly as saying, compared to 202 at this point last year. The total number of homicides in 2012 was 419, but if the rate so far this year holds, the figure for 2013 could be about 25 percent below that.

That compares to the record high of 2,245, sometimes recorded as 2,262, that the city experienced in 1990. Since then, murders and most other violent crimes have been steadily decreasing. Last year’s number of homicides was only one-fifth of the 1990 total, and this year’s could end up as little as one-seventh if the trend holds.

“In my business, in our business, this is miraculous,” The Times quoted Kelly as saying. “These are lives that are being saved.”

The new figures come out as the city is undergoing a sharp debate over the future of the Police Department’s stop-question-and-frisk policy, with the City Council seeking to rein in the practice [see separate story].

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