DA: Queens Leads City In Crime Reduction
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown has announced that, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the New York City Police Department, Queens County leads New York City in violent crime reduction for a third consecutive year. With an overall decline in violent crime of 72.5% since 1993, more than 83,000 fewer crimes occurred in Queens in 2005 as compared to twelve years earlier.
“Queens County continues to be one of the safest counties in the nation, not to mention being one of the safest areas in New York City,” said District Attorney Brown. “I am gratified by the substantial and steady progress that we have made over the last decade in bringing down crime - particularly violent crime - in Queens County as well as across the rest of New York City. It means that our quality of life has improved substantially and that we are living and working in a much safer environment.”
District Attorney Brown attributed the drop in crime to smart crime-fighting strategies, aggressive prosecution of career criminals and violent offenders and greater attention by law enforcement to quality of life crimes. Other key factors in this remarkable achievement include police enforcement initiatives in high crime areas and a strong partnership among prosecutors and police and residents who play a significant role in the fight for public safety by staying aware and alert and providing timely information through their local police precinct councils.
The District Attorney said that NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North with a 9.6% decrease in violent crime took first place among all of the Police Department’s patrol boroughs in the City. The 108st Precinct in Long Is-land City recorded the greatest decrease among the 16 police precincts in Queens County with a drop of 17.27% in violent crime.
According to the NYPD statistics for January 1 through December 4, 2005, nearly every main classification of crimes against persons and property in Queens County shows substantial decreases in 2005. The newly released figures show that burglaries in Queens County are down 12.2%, falling from 6,126 to 5,378. Grand Larceny Auto has fallen from 5,942 to 5,097, a drop of 14.2%, and homicides are down from 104 to 88, a drop of more than 15% from the prior year’s levels. In fact, the decrease in homicides - 66.4% since 1993 - is the second lowest number of homicides recorded in Queens County in 35 years.
Brown said, “Although this is very good news, there is much more that can be done. For example, while the total number of shootings in the county decreased in 2005, there continued to be disturbing signs that guns are making a reappearance on the streets. This is due, in large part, to weak federal gun laws which make it all too easy for criminals to purchase guns in other states which they use in New York. In addition, it is vital to strengthen New York’s laws regarding sales of illegal weapons. Closing these two gaps in our state and federal laws will help make it more difficult and more risky to obtain guns.”
The District Attorney continued, “Vigilance and deployment are helping to keep our streets safer. Police and prosecutors are targeting problem areas by stepping up patrols and enforcement to make certain that repeat dangerous offenders are kept off the streets and unable to continue their criminal activity. We have reallocated available resources in the face of budget cuts and counter-terrorism expenditures in a relentless effort to drive violent crime even lower. I remain optimistic that by continuing the very successful strategies that police and prosecutors have employed we can make Queens County even safer in 2006.”