Crime Continued to Fall Across City in 2009, Particularly in Manhattan
By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Associate Editor
MANHATTAN — Crime numbers fell to an historic low in 2009, with incidents in Manhattan continuing to plummet.
There were 27,657 total reported major crimes in Manhattan in 2009, down from 30,826 in 2008, NYPD statistics show.
In a sign of how far the city has come, the number of total crimes this year is less than half the number reported in 1990, or approximately 59,000.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during his weekly radio address Jan. 3.
“During 2009, there were fewer murders in New York City than at any time since 1963. It was our second year in three with fewer than 500 homicides, and the eighth straight year with fewer than 600; compare that to the not-so-distant past, when murders sometimes hit close to 2,000 a year,” Bloomberg added.
There were 58 murders in Manhattan in 2009, down from 62 in 2008, according to CompStat's end-of-the-year report.
But there were some neighborhoods that reported a slight increase in murders, due in part to the incredibly low number of murders reported in Manhattan in 2008.
For example, the Upper West Side finished 2008 with just a single reported murder, but that number jumped to five murders in 2009 - sparking a 400 percent increase in the 20th precinct's murder rate, according to NYPD statistics.
Three of the murders stemmed from a triple homicide last month, in which an alleged drug feud led ex-convict Hector Quinones to murder former jail buddy Carlos Rodriguez, Sr., his son Carlos Jr., and 82-year-old father-in-law Fernando Gonzales inside the family’s Amsterdam Ave. apartment.
Quinones fell to his death after tripping over his baggy pants on a fire escape, police said.
East Harlem's 23rd precinct also saw a jump in murder -- from three in 2008 to nine in 2009 -- a 200 percent leap, the weekly CompStat report for Dec. 12th – 21st shows.
The neighborhood also struggled through a spate of gang violence, as DNAinfo reported last month.
Bloomberg vowed to tackle youth violence in 2010.
"Young people ... are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of crime. We’re going to do even more to protect their lives and futures, and also to ensure the future and safety of the city we love," he said.