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Queens Chronicle

Crime amazingly drops more

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Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2019 10:30 am

It simply cannot be overstated: The reduction in violent crime in New York City over the last 30 years is the most amazing improvement in society in our lifetimes.

In 1990 the city saw 2,245 homicides. The number has been collapsing ever since. This year there have been 135 so far, putting us on track for 270 by year’s end. This would have been unthinkable even just a few years ago. It marks a 13.5 percent drop even from just last year, when there had been 156 up until this point.

Mayor de Blasio, as he travels the country on his quixotic bid to be president, has every right to brag that New York is, as he has long said, the safest big city in America. Take Chicago for comparison. So far this year, 250 people have been killed there — in a city with one-third the population of New York. The equivalent here would be about 750, more than five times the actual numbers so far.

In Queens the number of homicides has fallen modestly, from 29 up to this point last year to 27 so far in 2019. Just about every precinct has seen the number fall or remain close to what it was in 2018, except for the 115th in western Queens, where killings have gone up from one to five.

And while homicide remains the most important measure, just about every other “index crime,” those police keep track of in the Compstat system, is down too. Citywide, police say, robbery is down 6.8 percent; burglary down 13.4 percent; car theft down 9.5 percent; rape down 2 percent; felonious assault down 1.9 percent; and grand larceny down 4 percent.

All of this is to be celebrated. It’s simply not the same New York it once was. And as for the idea that police discourage people from reporting crimes to keep the numbers down, sure, that happens, but you can’t hide homicides. The drop in the murder rate proves that crime is seriously down.

The men and women of the Police Department get the lion’s share of the credit — and the thanks of the people — for this great development. Also deserving of credit are every mayor going back to David Dinkins, just about all of their police commissioners and the prosecutors in each borough who put the bad guys in prison when they got caught. It falls to us to continue the trend.

Welcome to the discussion.