While the city's overall crime rate continues to drop, the first six months of this year saw a spike in the number of rapes and murders, the NYPD announced on Tuesday.
According to police data, there were 147 murders across the city in the first half of 2018—an 8 percent jump from the same period last year, which was the lowest on record. Fifty-one of those homicides have occurred in the Bronx, where there's also been an uptick in fatal shootings, up to 29 from just 17 this time last year.
With the goal of stemming this borough-wide increase, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced plans to pump $68 million into a new stationhouse for the 40th precinct in Mott Haven, and to increase the number of cops in the 48th precinct in East Tremont.
"While crime is at a record low in New York City, there is still more work to do to ensure that every New Yorker feels safe in their neighborhood," de Blasio said in a statement. “This new precinct will strengthen the bond between community and police, which will ultimately help make the South Bronx and our City safer."
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 10, 2018
"We were sober in the realization that trying to repeat what happened in 2017 was going to be difficult,” the mayor added during a press conference on Tuesday.
The number of rapes has also increased by 33 percent this year, a stat the NYPD sees as somewhat positive, because that crime is so often under-reported. “We’ve been encouraging people to come out and report so when it goes up, that’s actually a good thing because more people are coming forward,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said. “Especially in the domestic violence cases. Those are the ones that never come forward.” Arrests have been made in 37 percent of rape cases, officials said.
Overall, NYPD statistics show that crime continues to drop, with crime reports down from 46,190 to 45,337. The city has seen a decades-long drop in crime since the early 1990s, when the annual murder rate exceeded 2,000 New Yorkers.