NYC homicides drop significantly
The number of homicides on record in New York City has dropped significantly during the first half of the year — to 154 from 202 in the same period last year — surprising even police officials who have long been accustomed to trumpeting declining crime rates in the city.
In the first 178 days of 2013, the city averaged less than a murder a day, the first time the police can recall that happening for any sustained period. The latest numbers were recorded through Thursday.Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly attributed much of the drop to a new antigang strategy meant to suppress retaliatory violence among neighborhood gangs. Police officials also credited their efforts at identifying and monitoring abusive husbands whose behavior seemed poised to turn lethal.
On the one hand, Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Kelly have cited the declining murder rate as a vindication of their policing strategies, which rely heavily on the stop-and-frisk tactic.On the other, stop-and-frisks have dropped off considerably in the last 15 months, suggesting that the drop in murders might have been a result of other factors.In the first three months of 2012, police records indicate, there were 203,500 stops. But in the first three months of this year, the police recorded fewer than 100,000 stops.Over the last two decades, the decline in murders in New York has been greater than in other parts of the country. (In the early 1990s, when Mr. Kelly spent a little more than a year as police commissioner, the first of his two stints in the job, the city was coping with about 2,000 murders annually.)