According to the latest NYPD crime statistics, NYC is currently on pace in 2013 to have the lowest number of homicides in over 60 years. There have been 279 homicides in the city through the end of October, down 23% compared from 364 murders up to this point in 2012. If current trends hold, we will have around 100 fewer deaths this year than last year—and that would mean an average of fewer than one murder a day.

Altogether, NYC had 419 murders in 2012, which was the lowest number of murders since the NYPD started keeping track of these statistics in 1963. For some more perspective, NYC has a rate of 2.9 murders per 100,000 people, which, if you're looking at murder alone, makes it one of the top five safest big cities in America with a population over 250K; Detroit has the most with 54 per 100K, Baltimore and Newark each have 34 per 100K, Chicago has 18.5 and LA has 7.8.

However, if you take all violent crimes into account—such as rape, robbery, and felonious assault—New York's success is mixed. Robberies increased in the city by 2% last year, a fact that Mayor Bloomberg blamed on the theft of Apple devices.

As for the intrinsic question of why the murder rate has been steadily going down over the last couple years—and remaining low—Police Commissioner Ray Kelly credits the NYPD’s focus on youth gangs and domestic violence, along with "hot-spot policing" and an expanding use of electronic data to identify crime trends. In 2012, police cleared 74.8% of the city's homicides; not counting cold cases, the NYPD solved 57% of the year's 419 homicides.

What's the elephant in the room? As of August this year, the NYPD conducted 53 percent fewer street stop-and-frisks—58,088, to be exact— than it did in the same period last year.