The borough’s crime statistics hit an important milestone this year.
“This year, for the second straight year, the number of murders in the Bronx was lower than 100, a level of success in policing this borough had not seen since the early 1960s,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a statement.
“This would not be possible without a deeply committed, highly professional police force like the NYPD, working hand-in-hand with the citizens of our borough and our city”
In addition to the good news across the borough in 2014, there were a few significant improvements locally in the year-end reports from the 45th and 49th precincts.
Overall crime in the four-five was up just slightly in 2014—2.5 percent, said commanding officer Captain James McGeown, but crime in the precinct is still down about 10 percent in the past three years.
A big part of the overall uptick was attributed to a rise in identity theft and scams, said McGeown.
The precinct saw a 54 percent increase in identity theft and fraud (there were 56 cases this year), and reports of scams were up 300 percent (28 in 2014 vs. 7 in 2013.)
The crime prevention and community affairs officers have been working hard to spread the message to residents, who should take care protect their personal information.
“That’s something we address at almost every community meeting,” McGeown.
Theft of unattended property was also up about 19 percent, which McGeown attributes to the new malls. While people are shopping, people get distracted and put their purses and bags down.
While malls pose a new challenge for the precinct, an old problem has seen some improvements—car thefts were down about 17 percent this year.
“We’ve always had that as one of the major complaints,” said McGeown.
Burglaries were also down 10 percent, and there was one particular bright spot in this year’s numbers.
“There were no murders in the 45th Precinct,” said McGeown.
Overall crime in the 4-9 was down 7 percent in 2014, said commanding officer Captain Timothy McCormack.
But the decrease in overall crime over the past two year is more dramatic—31.9 percent.
The precinct did see an increase in the number of murders—from two to six. Half of the murders were domestic violence cases, two others were narcotics related.
“We’re looking at the underlying causes of domestic violence and drugs, and focusing on those two aspects,” said McCormack.
Car thefts were up about 20 percent this year, with the majority of cars stolen being Honda Accords and Civics.
The issue is not new, said McCormack, and it persists partially because the hospitals in the area create a transient community with many people coming and going.
“Vehicular crime is something we always have to work on,” said McCormack.
But the precinct saw significant decreases between 2013 and 2014 in the categories of robberies (210 vs. 179), felony assaults (218 vs. 183), and burglaries (232 vs. 190).
The precinct had some successes in the past year, said McCormack, and the officers will continue to work hard to bring down the number of crimes.
“Reducing violent crime is the objective of the command,” said McCormack. “One homicide is one too many.”