Contact: John Caher or Janine Kava, Press Office
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john.caher@dcjs.ny.gov
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 25, 2007

STATEWIDE CRIME DOWN FIVE PERCENT FOR FIRST HALF OF 2007
Double Digit Decreases in Rapes, Robberies and Motor Vehicle Thefts

Governor Eliot Spitzer and Denise O’Donnell, Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), today reported that crime statewide is down 5 percent for the first half of 2007, led by double-digit decreases in rapes, robberies and motor vehicle thefts.

For the first six months of this year, DCJS reported statewide decreases in seven significant crime areas including: murder, down 4 percent; rape, down 19 percent; robbery, down 13 percent; assault, down 1 percent; burglary, down 7 percent; larceny, down 3 percent; and motor vehicle theft, down 15 percent. Overall, violent crime is down 6 percent statewide.

“Government has no more fundamental role than to protect the public, and I am pleased to see crime decreasing across the state,” said Governor Spitzer. “Safe communities are vital to the social and economic fabric of the state and we will continue working tirelessly with law enforcement officials to achieve lower crime rates and to target problem areas.”

Commissioner Denise O’Donnell said: “These improved statistics are the result of hard work, day in and day out, by local and state law enforcement – from police and prosecutors to probation and parole – partnering in unprecedented ways to attack violent crime, particularly gun crime. I commend local law enforcement for embracing the cornerstones of Operation IMPACT, and pledge that the state will continue to do everything it can to ensure that local communities have the resources they need.”

In the 17 counties outside of New York City that account for about 80 percent of the crime occurring Upstate and on Long Island – total crimes declined 6 percent, below 2006 levels, and violent crimes declined 12 percent.

The state is targeting Upstate and Long Island crime pockets through Operation IMPACT, a comprehensive crime fighting program designed to achieve sustained, long term crime reduction in those 17 counties. IMPACT supports the crime-fighting initiatives in: Albany, Broome, Erie, Chautauqua, Ulster, Nassau, Orange, Niagara, Dutchess, Monroe, Schenectady, Rockland, Suffolk, Onondaga, Rensselaer, Oneida and Westchester counties. In his 2007-08 budget, Governor Spitzer increased IMPACT funding by 14 percent, to $17 million.

So far this year, New York City is reporting declines of 5 percent in violent crimes and 4 percent in property crimes, according to the DCJS report.

The report also shows that the number of murders in New York City is down nearly 12 percent this year (from 266 for the first six months of 2006 to 235 for the first six months of 2007). In the counties outside of New York City, the total number of homicides increased to 155 from the 2006 total of 140. The six-month statewide homicide total therefore went from 406 in 2006 to 390 in 2007.

For the first six months of the year, the DCJS report that:

  • Forty-one counties are reporting decreases in crime so far this year, and 36 are reporting a decrease in violent crime.
  • Among the larger counties, crime is nearly 11 percent lower in Albany County, 12.5 percent lower in Monroe County, 5 percent lower in Nassau County, 13 percent lower in Onondaga County, 2.5 percent lower in Suffolk County and 9.8 percent lower in Westchester County. Erie County reports an increase of less than 1 percent.
  • The larger upstate cities all report decreases in violent crime: Albany, down 5 percent; Buffalo, down 19.5 percent; Poughkeepsie, down 8 percent; Rochester, down 12.6 percent; Schenectady, down 18 percent; and Syracuse, down 13 percent.
  • Within New York City, aggravated assault, the only crime category to rise during the first six months of the year, increased less than 1 percent.

The state statistics for 2007 were released simultaneously with the FBI’s release of the 2006 edition of Crime in the United States, a statistical compilation of offense and arrest data reported by law enforcement agencies across the nation. In the FBI report, New York ranked as the safest large state in the country for 2006 and the fifth safest overall (compared with sixth in 2005).

DCJS statistics show that during the past 10 years, crime in New York State has declined steadily. The largest reductions in crime rate were reported for motor vehicle theft, burglary and robbery.

The FBI report: Crime in the United States is available at: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/sept07/cius092407.htm