PHOTO: Police Commissioner Bill Bratton (at podium) this week detailed the 2015 crime totals for the five boroughs. Photo Courtesy of NYPD
By Michael V. Cusenza
Though a spate of shootings closed out a year that saw more murders than the previous 12 months, 2015 shows the lowest yearly crime numbers ever in the modern CompStat era, according to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
In detailing on Monday the NYPD’s 2015 crime totals for the seven major index crimes—murder, rape, robbery, felonious assault, burglary, grand larceny, grand larceny auto—Bratton noted that overall index crime in the city fell by 1.7 percent when compared to 2014; and crime since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in January 2014 has decreased 5.8 percent.
The past two years have seen record lows in several major crime categories, Bratton said. In 2014, the City marked the lowest murder and robbery rates in 50 years. Additionally, burglary and grand larceny auto were at their lowest levels in more than 50 years in 2015.
“At this point, 2015 marks the safest year in the modern history in New York City,” Bratton beamed. “Since 1993, we have experienced more than a seventy-five percent decrease in crime and an eighty-one percent decrease in murders. Today, we are practicing precision-policing focused on addressing the pockets of crime that remain, while exercising discretion in enforcement and reducing the number of enforcement encounters across the city.”
Bratton noted how shooting incidents in the five boroughs are predominately committed by those with criminal histories. In 2015, 84 percent of shooters arrested, 78 percent of homicide victims, and 79 percent of shooting victims had a rap sheet.
Housing crime represented 5 percent of the city’s crime in 2015, and ticked up less than 1 percent overall from 2014, Bratton said. Transit crime represented 2 percent of the city’s total crime in 2015; although up 10 percent in 2015, transit crime is down 5 percent since January 2014. And three of five boroughs experienced a decrease in crime.
Bratton characterized 2015 as “a very good year” for the department “in the sense, that it was a record year for tourism in this city – almost 60 million – a record year for Broadway ticket sales, a record year in terms of the special events that this department handled: the Pope, U.N. visit, also the most recent New Year’s Eve event, with all the concerns around the heightened issues of terrorism around the world – a very good year, in the sense of successful events.”