New York homicide falls to 40-year low

Murders in New York City have decreased significantly, mirroring trends across the rest of the United States

Murders in New York City have dropped to the lowest level in over 40 years despite a rise in crime overall, city officials have announced.

In 2012 there were 414 recorded homicides, compared with 515 in the same period in 2011. This marks a significant decline from the low-2,000 figures reported in the early 1990s.

The figures are published amid reports that overall crime has risen slightly thanks to increased theft, due mainly to robberies of iPhones and other Apple devices. The police department said thefts of Apple products had risen by 3,890, more than the overall increase in ‘major crimes’.

New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the New York police department for a 19% drop in homicides compared to 2011, despite a shrinking police force and growing population.

Police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “We’re preventing crimes before someone is killed and before someone else has to go to prison.”

The findings mirror those around the country, with the National Centre of Health Statistics reporting that the homicide rate in the United States is at a 50-year low. However, chief of mortality statistics at the Centre, Robert Anderson, says: “We’re not really sure what’s driving this. That’s the million dollar question.”