Murders across New York City are down more than 10% from last year at this time, and shootings have decreased 16% so far this year, according to newly released NYPD data. The drop comes amid a 27-year high of gun arrests in the city.
Other crimes continue to be on the rise, however. Instances of index crimes – including rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft, along with murder – have risen by more than 25% in 2022 so far.
“That's something to be concerned about,” said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The drop in murders is a hopeful sign, though, Giacalone said, especially after last year saw 488 murders reported across the city – more than any year in the decade prior.
“You're going into the new year with a downward trend in shootings and homicides,” Giacalone said. “And maybe, because the numbers were so high in 2022, we have a chance to at least level off.”
So far this year, the NYPD said it has also seized over 6,600 guns, including 356 “ghost guns”, which are assembled from parts and lack any serial number – a 76% increase from last year’s record at this time.
“It just shows you how many guns are out there,” Giacalone said. “As the technology and these 3D printers and everything else gets cheaper, so will these ghost guns become more pervasive.
Despite the overall drop in shootings this year – and a nearly 33% drop last month alone – the city saw 20% more murders in November than it did in the same month last year.
Giacalone said he wasn’t sure why murders would rise while shootings fell in November, but he pointed out that shootings don’t account for all murders. He pointed to the case of a mother who stabbed her two children in the Bronx last month as one example.
The most significant drops in shootings last month were in northern Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, according to the NYPD.