Crime Continues to Decline As Shootings Increase in Brooklyn

Terence Monahan, Benjamin Tucker, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and James P. O’Neill at a monthly crime briefing in Sugar Hill (Image by Sam Raskin/ Bklyner)

BROOKLYN — As citywide crime declines, shootings are up so far this year compared to 2018, particularly in Brooklyn North’s precincts, the NYPD said Monday. 

As crime fell by 5.4 percent compared to the first half of last year, shootings rose by 7 percent year-to-date, and by 28 percent in the Brooklyn North jurisdictions. Twenty percent of all shootings in the city have occurred in four Brooklyn North precincts: 73 (Brownsville, Ocean Hill), 75 (East New York, Cypress Hills), 77 (northern Crown Heights, parts of Prospect Heights) and 79 (Bed-Stuy), said NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan. 

He added that the 75th precinct so far this year has had 17 “gang-related” shootings, and the 77th precinct has been home to 11 of those types of shootings.

“There are always challenges like shooting numbers that we need to dwell on and focus on and address,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at the monthly crime press conference, “but the overall situation is very strong.”

“If we’re going to actually continue to drive down gun violence below these historic numbers,” Monahan said, “we really need to focus on guns.”

And as of last month, year-to-date hate crimes were up. The first half of this year saw 71 more hate crimes than the first half of 2018, or a 48 percent increase, Chief Dermot Shea said.   

But the mayor and the NYPD mostly delivered good news Monday. Citywide, homicides in the city were at unprecedentedly low levels, and are down 13.5 percent from last year. 

“That is fewer than any six-month period on record,” the mayor said. 

In addition, murders dropped by 26 percent and reported rapes are down 8 percent, burglaries are down 17.5 percent and overall crime dropped by roughly 4 percent, according to NYPD statistics.  

The NYPD also said the recent drop in crime shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“This historic crime low New York City sees today is absolutely not promised for tomorrow,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. 

“There is always more to be done and there are some areas of real concern, but the big picture is very, very positive,” said de Blasio. “Right now, the safest big city in America is even safer.”     

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Sam Raskin

Sam Raskin has reported for Politico New York, Gotham Gazette, Gothamist and Curbed New York.

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