While overall crimes continue to go down, shootings are still on the rise, said Police Commissioner James O’Neill on Wednesday at the NYPD’s monthly press conference on the city’s crime statistics. The increase in shootings are particularly seen in parts of Brooklyn and Queens, reports NBC.
In Brooklyn, these “pockets of violence” continue to be found in Brownsville and East New York, officials said.
“We know many are drug-related, specifically gang- and crew-related,” said O’Neill. “We continue to shift our resources and work to prevent retaliatory shootings.”
Citywide, there where 91 shootings, which marks a 19.7 percent increase compared to last year.
Brooklyn North, which includes Brownsville, Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Crown Heights, and Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill, saw 21 shootings. The majority of these incidents were driven by Brownsville’s 73rd and the 75th Precincts, which accounted for over 70 percent of the borough shootings last month, officials said.
So far there were 540 shootings in 2019 compared to 502 at this time last year, which reflect a 7.6 percent increase. Homicides increased by 6.9 percent to 31 compared to 29 in August 2018. The year-to-date murder-rate, however, is down by 3.8 percent.
Police say they continue to address violence and the increase in shootings through precision policing, strategic deployments of additional officers and close collaboration with the district attorneys on firearms cases to get guns off the streets. These efforts, officials said, have resulted in a 20-percent increase in gun-related arrests, up to 355 last month from 295 in August 2018.
“New York City continues to see crime reductions, and that’s due to the dedication, professionalism and hard work of the members of the NYPD in partnership with the communities they serve,” said O’Neill. “Together we’re laser-focused on violent crime, and that’s put us in a position where we can address crime conditions and make the city even safer.”
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