New York City: Naughty or nice this holiday season?
Nice, it turns out, according to the New York Police Department.
In a remarkable, record-breaking turn of events, no murders have taken place in the Big Apple for six days straight, during the Christmas season, no less, the New York Daily News reported.
“From precision policing to target specific crime and criminals, to focusing on quality-of-life, to creating neighborhood policing to build mutual trust and respect with the community, the NYPD is pushing crime to historic lows,” Phillip Walzak, Deputy Commissioner Public Information, tells PEOPLE.
“Thanks to these innovations, New York City continues to be the safest big city in America. There were zero murders recorded from December 22, 2018, through December 26, 2018,” Walzak says.
The city’s last murder took place on Friday when a bullet claimed the life of 32-year-old Lewis Shamberger, who was shot in the back in the Bronx and later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, local station WABC reported.
Not only is the crime rate down in the five boroughs, but the city may end up reporting fewer murders in 2018 than in 2017, the News and WABC report.
“We’re looking to close the books on an incredibly successful year,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermont Shea said at a press conference, WABC reported.
To date, 283 people were killed in New York City in 2018, compared to 286 who were murdered in 2017, according to the NYPD website’s Crime Statistics page.
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The number of major crimes has decreased as well. The NYPD has recorded 93,747 major crimes in 2018, down from 95,215 in 2017, the News reported.
The one crime that is seeing an increase in numbers is rape, which is 22.4 percent higher than in 2017, according to the News. Police attribute the rise to an increase in reporting due to the #Metoo movement, the News reported.
Neighborhood policing has helped lower the crime rate, WABC reported.
“The NYPD has long encouraged officers to strengthen bonds with the communities they patrol, but past practice in precincts left little time or opportunity for true community engagement,” the NYPD says on its website. “In recent years, the Patrol Services Bureau has systematically reorganized its patrol methods to achieve the goal of establishing Neighborhood Policing in every precinct, citywide, by 2019.”
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