The Bronx’s biggest drop in major crime goes to the 49th Precinct, overseeing Allerton, Morris Park, and Van Nest.
Overall, major crime dipped 9.44%, ranking it the second safest precinct in the five boroughs, with major crimes like rape, burglaries and grand theft autos crimes plummeting. But murder, the number of shooting victims and incidents spiked in the Four-Nine, according to NYPD numbers. In all, arrest numbers rose across the board.
The house was in transition in 2012 when Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson passed the baton to Captain Lorenzo Johnson, who continues fighting quality-of-life issues, a main concern for the working/middle class neighborhoods. Since in command, crime declined.
“I would want to live in the Four-Nine,” said Johnson, crediting the 9.44% drop in crime to the tight-knit relationships the precinct has with community groups who feed tips that keep crime at bay.
“I rather be proactive than reactive,” he said.
But the Four-Nine, considered a calmer house compared to other precincts, logged higher murder numbers in 2012. In all, 8 people were murdered, a 166.7% jump from 2011 when there were 4 reported homicides. The Four-Nine’s murder rate tied with the 41st, 42nd, 44th and 48th Precincts. Citywide, the Four-Nine ranked 21 out of the 76 precincts with the most murders.
Among those murdered was Evelyn Shapiro, the 82-year-old grandmother bludgeoned to death inside the troubled Pelham Houses. The case remains unsolved.
While the Shapiro case was linked to a blunt instrument, half of the reported murders involved a gun, said Johnson.
The number of shooting victims also jumped, to 26 in 2012 from 16 in 2011, a 62.5% jump. There were 20 shooting incidents last year, compared to 15 in 2011. The figures came as cops aggressively rounded up firearms, taking 39 weapons off Bronx streets in 2012 from 34 in 2011, a 14.7% spike.
Grand theft auto cases have dropped, though the number ranked high compared to the rest of city precincts. In all, there were 183 car thefts in 2012, down from 231 in 2011. Johnson looks to push those numbers down, asking anyone to avoid parking their car at public longterm parking spots.
For now, steering crime down is still on Johnson’s agenda for 2013, with an emphasis on “more visibility and more accountability from my officers.”
David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383