BY LUIS GRONDA
The year 2014 was the safest New York City has seen in its history.
Last year saw the fewest recorded murders in City history, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who made the announcement outside of 1 Police Plaza on Monday.
According to police data, there were 332 murders in NYC last year. This is three murders fewer than 2013, and continues the downward trend of that type of crime in the five Boroughs.
Murder, robbery and burglary rates are also the lowest in the past decade, according to the statistics compiled by the NYPD. Robbery was down 13.6 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, the biggest decrease out of the crime categories compiled in CompStat. Burglary was down four percent from 2013 and grand larceny auto decreased by 3.7 percent in 2014.
The overall crime index was down 4.6 percent from last year. Marijuana arrests also dropped 10.5 percent compared to 2013.
Police said the specific breakdown of those numbers by borough were not available when asked by a reporter.
The announcement was made just as tensions between Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have spiked due to incidents involving police including the murder of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu last month as well as protests following the Eric Garner verdict just a short time before those officers were killed.
De Blasio said the reduction in crime shows that its possible to reduce crime in a big city like New York even as crime was already decreasing before he took office.
“Now, again, this is not just about numbers. The numbers are so important, but every number indicates a human life or a family, and every number that we show that’s made progress means a family or an individual who didn’t go through the pain of a crime,” he said during the press conference.
Commissioner Bratton said that while 2014 was successful in terms of reducing crime in New York City, 2015 will be significant for the police department because of new technology the department will begin to use, including body cameras.
“It will be the year of technology, in which we literally will give to every member of this department – technology that would’ve been unheard of even a few years ago,“ Bratton said.
Both the mayor and police commissioner have been big proponents of the broken windows theory of policing, which is reducing smaller type of crimes in order to prevent bigger crimes from occurring.
When asked if the recent events call into question that type of policing, Bratton said that their view remains unwavered.
“Sorry, broken windows is here to stay,” he said. “Stop, Question and Frisk is here to stay. But it will be done in appropriate amounts. So, even the broken windows policing-we are very selective in terms of looking at areas where we can reduce the need for that.”
De Blasio said that crime has reduced dramatically compared to the 80s and 90s in part due to the proactive approach police need to take in enforcing that theory.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, email@example.com, or @luisgronda.