FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Brooklyn is set to Finish 2016 as the Safest Year Ever
Fewest Shooting Incidents and Shooting Victims in Recorded History;
Second-lowest Number of Murders; Drops in Nearly All Other Crime Categories
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that 2016 will end as the safest year in Brooklyn’s history, with the fewest number of shootings and shooting victims and second-fewest number of homicides since record-keeping began, according to the latest statistics compiled by the New York City Police Department.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “It is extremely gratifying to end the year with significant declines in nearly all crime categories, including murders and shootings. This historic achievement is a testament to the hard work and cooperation between the District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD and our joint crime reduction initiatives, including focus on specific individuals who drive crime, long-term gang investigations and targeting of firearm traffickers. While these year-end statistics are encouraging, more needs to be done and I remain committed to making Brooklyn an even safer and better place for all of its residents.”
The Acting District Attorney said that 127 murders were recorded in Brooklyn in 2016. That figure is down 15 murders (10.6%) compared to last year and represents the second fewest homicides ever recorded in a single year, following 2014, when 122 murders were committed. There were 61 fewer shooting incidents compared to 2015 (a total of 407, down 13%) and 75 fewer shooting victims (a total of 492, down 13.2%). These percent decreases outpaced the citywide declines during 2016 and Brooklyn was the only borough to register declines in all three categories over the past year. [All statistics are as of December 25, 2016, according to CompStat analysis].
In addition, the Total Index Crime in Brooklyn (representing the seven major felony crimes) is down 9.5% compared to last year, with decreases in all categories except felony assault (1.1% uptick). Significantly, burglaries were down 25% and robberies were down 14.4% compared to 2015.
In the past few years, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office has increased its focus on the drivers of crime – individuals responsible for most of the shootings and violence – while expanding alternatives to incarceration for youth charged with non-violent offenses. It has also partnered with the NYPD on a number of initiatives to reduce violent crime. Those include:
- Establishing and expanding the Crime Strategies Unit to keep track of known gang members and other drivers of violence in order to keep them off the streets and to identify “hotspots,” or areas that experience an increase in violence, to proactively address them. The Unit also works with the NYPD to identify subjects of investigations to reduce gang and criminal activity.
- Long-term investigations by the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, together with the NYPD, to target all criminal activities by gangs (including shootings, robberies and financial fraud) and to stop weapons traffickers, particularly those who transport firearms from out of state into Brooklyn.
- Creating the Firearms Prosecution Unit, which operates in the only Expedited Firearms Court in the city, with the goal of prosecuting gun possession cases faster and more efficiently in Brooklyn.
- Bi-weekly teleconferences with NYPD officials, including Commanding Officers, Chiefs and an Assistant Commissioner, regarding all firearm arrests in Brooklyn for that period to ensure appropriate enhancements and aggressive prosecution.
- Participation in the NYPD’s CeaseFire program, an anti-violence outreach initiative aimed at reaching and educating high-risk individuals in an effort to change behavior and community norms.
- Establishing the Young Adult Court Bureau to handle most misdemeanor defendants ages 16 to 24, offering need-risk assessment, counseling, vocational and educational programs with the aim of reducing recidivism and enhancing public safety.