Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that new all-time lows will be set this year for the fewest number of homicides and fewest numbers of shootings in recorded New York City history. As of this morning, there have been 414 homicides in 2012 – the previous record low was 471 homicides in 2009.
The number of murders has dropped by 19 percent in comparison to 2011 and declined by 35 percent since the start of the Bloomberg Administration. There has been a record low 1,353 shootings this year – the previous low for shootings was 1,420 in 2009. Shootings have decreased by 8.5 percent so far this year compared to 2011 and 14.5 percent since 2001. Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly made the announcement today at the Police Department Recruit Graduation Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“The number of murders this year will be lower than any time in recorded city history,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The fact that the safest big city in America is safer than ever is a testament to the hard work and determination of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day – and it also reflects our commitment to doing everything possible to stop gun violence.”
“We’re taking 8,000 weapons annually out of the hands of people we stop, 800 of them illegal handguns,” said Commissioner Kelly. “We’re preventing crimes before someone is killed and before someone else has to go to prison for murder or other serious crimes. We’re also forging new alliances with advocates for public safety in every corner of the city.”
Police initiatives, including the bolstering of Operation Impact personnel in high crime areas, have resulted in the dramatic decrease in shootings during 2012. Operation Impact started in 2003 to reduce crime in identified violence prone areas and its flexibility allows the NYPD to track crime and establish or disband new impact zones as needed.
Annual statistical data for shootings was first captured with the introduction of the NYPD’s Compstat crime reporting system in 1994. Through Monday December 23, 2012 there have been 1,353 shootings. This is a decrease of 15 percent compared to 2001 when there were 1608 shootings.
Comparable murder statistics date back to 1963 when the city recorded 548 homicides. The most murders New York City recorded in a single year was 2,245 murders in 1990 – an average of six murders a day. Today, New York City averages closer to one murder a day – even though the city’s population has grown by roughly a million people since 1990.
Guns remained the leading cause of murder in New York City again this year. Of the 414 homicides so far this year, 237 were by firearms. This is 61 fewer gun related murders than last year, a decrease of 20 percent. In 2001, there were 371 gun related murders, 36 percent more than this year.
With the decrease in murder, New York’s murder rate has fallen to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 residents. New York City has a far lower murder rate than other major American cities. For example:
- If New York City had the same murder rate as Washington DC, New York City would have a total of 1,100 murdered this year.
- If New York City had Chicago’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of more than 1,400 murders this year.
- If New York City had Philadelphia’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of more than 1,700 murders this year.
- If New York City had Baltimore’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of more than 2,870 murders this year.
- If New York City had Detroit’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of nearly 4,400 murders this year.
According to data from the latest Uniform Crime Report, released in October 2012, New York City remains the safest big city in the United States. New York City recorded the lowest Index Crime rate among the twenty five largest U.S. cities.