114th Crime Figures Show Overall Drop In 2006
BY RICHARD GENTILVISO
Going into December, crime is down 8.43 percent (through November 26) this year as compared to 2005 in the 114th precinct. "We had a Gvery good year reducing crime and violence," said 114th Precinct Commanding Officer Inspector Brian McCarthy.
Speaking at the November meeting of the precinct community council, McCarthy conceded some areas could be improved. "There are some blips on the radar," he said.
Specifically, McCarthy pointed to the crime of grand larceny, especially theft of items from automobiles. Of grand larceny thefts committed so far in 2006, 38 percent were incidents where the value of stolen goods was more than $1,000, said McCarthy.
"What's stolen?" McCarthy asked rhetorically. "Men leave wallets in the glove compartment, women leave pocket books on the front seat," leading to stolen money, credit cards, and high-end electronics, such as cellphones and iPods.
Citing 601 grand larcenies occurring in 2006 so far, McCarthy said, "two hundred of these were avoidable".
McCarthy urged everyone to make a serious effort to protect themselves during the busy holiday season and all year round from this type of theft. "It is the most problematic crime in the precinct," he said.
McCarthy also singled out so called "youth on youth" crimes as troublesome, showing a rise in number from 2005 to 2006.
Back on September 1, crimes committed by teens against other teens were up by almost 25 percent in the 114th. But since then that number has dropped by half, a result of changes McCarthy instituted.
"We have doubled the number of police officers assigned to schools," he said. Also there is a zero tolerance policy on truancy in place. "Arrests have gone up and robberies have gone down," McCarthy said.
Citywide, there was an increase of almost 7 percent in juvenile arrests for robbery through September 30 this year continuing a disturbing trend that saw the number of juvenile arrests rise from 2,222 in 2004 to 2,814 in 2005, an increase of 26.6 percent.
Michael Farrell, Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Initiatives for the New York Police Department, said the greater number of juvenile arrests was mostly related to an increase in the number of robberies of iPods, cellphones, and other electronic devices. According to a November 6 report in the New York Sun, in which Farrell was quoted, 90 percent of the arrested juveniles are boys.
During a radio interview he gave in October, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the rising juvenile crime rate was worrisome. "That's why you focus on the schools," he said, pointing to a 7 percent drop in crimes committed in schools since April 2003.
Initiatives to combat youth on youth crime in the 114th Precinct will continue into the new year, McCarthy said.
In the 114th, five of seven major crime categories are down while rape and robbery are up so far in 2006. Rapes increased from 33 to 38 (15.1 percent) and robberies increased from 365 to 419 (14.7 percent). Murders declined from 8 to 7 (-12.5 percent), felonious assaults declined from 260 to 241 (-7.3 percent), burglaries declined from 484 to 395 (- 18.3 percent). and grand larceny auto (GLA) declined from 452 to 375 (-17 percent).
Total crime dropped by 208 from 2,468 in 2005 to 2,260 in 2006 (-8.43 percent). All numbers are through November 26, 2006.