By Robert Pozarycki
The new year got off to a good start for the NYPD.
Overall crime was down 21% during January 2021, which included a slight decrease in murders and a sharp drop in grand larcenies, the NYPD reported Friday. Even so, shootings — which had more than doubled during 2020 — remained higher during the first month of 2021, though at a lower rate.
In the seven major crime categories (murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto [auto theft]), the NYPD recorded 6,882 total incidents between Jan. 1-31 of this year; that’s down from the 8,637 major crimes that occurred during January 2020.
Robberies and rapes were also down sharply during January (down 29% and 21.6%, respectively); the lone major crime that increased was auto theft, which was up 12.8% for the month.
Year-over-year, murders had slightly decreased from 27 in January 2020 to 25 in January 2021. Shootings during January 2021 were up 16.7%, with 77 incidents reported, an increase from the 66 that occurred at the time last year.
The shooting increase comes even as the NYPD continues to step up its efforts to combat gun crimes across New York City. That effort kicked into higher gear following a summer of gun violence last year in which the city recorded a combined 486 shootings in July and August.
Shootings have steadily decreased in the months since, from 152 in September to 77 in January. Last month, the NYPD tallied 486 gun arrests — a 61.5% increase in firearms-related collars from the same time a year ago.
The NYPD particularly touted the efforts of precincts in Patrol Borough Brooklyn North and Patrol Borough Bronx, which recorded 138 and 104 gun arrests, respectively.
What really drove the crime drop in January, law enforcement sources said, was a sharp 32% decline in grand larcenies. There were just 2,546 incidents recorded last month, down from the 3,788 incidents recorded in January 2020.
The positive developments on the crime front have given Police Commissioner Dermot Shea further hope that 2021 will turn out to be a far better year for the NYPD in their efforts to keep the city safe.
“As we move into 2021, I remain very optimistic about the continuing work of the NYPD to improve both public safety and trust across New York City,” said Shea. “All New Yorkers have weathered a great deal during 2020, but your NYPD cops remain undaunted in their vital work – not only driving down crime – but also engaging with our many community partners in order to build trust in every borough, in every neighborhood.”