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New York City On Pace For Lowest Murder Rate In 50 Years

Murder scene (file/credit: CBS 2)

Murder scene (file/credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City is on track this year to set the record for the lowest number of murders in 50 years.

Crime data compiled by the New York Daily News showed 414 murders as of Christmas Eve, compared with 508 over the same period in 2011. That’s a nearly 20 percent decrease in murders this year.

With just five days left in 2012, there would need to be a major spike in murders to top the record low of 471 murders set in 2009.

Additionally, no precinct in the city has recorded more than 20 homicides this year, according to crime data.

Last year, the city recorded 515 murders and there were 536 murders in 2010. As a point of comparison, there were 2,262 murders recorded in New York City in 1990, crime statistics show.

The city began keeping crime records in 1963.

“I’m thankful for the fact that this year there will be the lowest number of murders that we’ve had since we started to record them in 50 years, even though the population is as high as its ever been,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Daily News.

Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted the city’s falling incarceration rate. Bloomberg noted that the number of people locked up has dramatically fallen during his tenure as mayor.

“I think it’s important for the public to know that we have had a fair amount of success in New York and we’re moving in the right direction,” said Kelly, who often credits the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk program for a drop in crime.

If trends hold for the remainder of this year, the city will log more suicides than murders in 2012.

Crime statistics, however, show a surge in the number of arrests and stop-and-frisks during Bloomberg’s decade in office.

Compared with 2002, there were about 75,000 more arrests in 2012. And cops have stopped and frisked roughly 600,000 more people this year than the mayor’s first year in office, crime statistics show.

Some lawmakers said those numbers are paying off in an overall reduction in crime.

“If you think that stop-and-frisk isn’t playing a role, then you are fooling yourself,” Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Golden told the Daily News. “The Police Department is doing an outstanding job.”

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