By Julie Shapiro
LOWER MANHATTAN — The police precinct commander for Lower Manhattan had encouraging news for the area's Community Council Thursday night: Crime is down in almost every category.
The officer, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna of the first precinct, told Council members that the statistics reflected the fact that for a second straight year, there were no reported murders between Jan. 1st and Apr. 25th in both 2009 and 2010.
“I’m lucky that my biggest problem here is getting people to watch their pocketbooks,” Bologna said.
The Precinct's jurisdiction stretches from Manhattan south of Houston Street on the Lower West Side to south of the Brooklyn Bridge on the Lower East Side.
The only category of crime that has gone up in the area, the inspector said, is burglary, with 62 incidents reported this year compared with 58 in 2009.
Bologna noted that the first precinct had added plainclothes officers to the midnight shift as a deterrent to storefront and fire escape break-ins.
Overall, the precinct saw 116 felony crimes in the 28-day period ending April 25, compared to 133 in the same period last year, a drop of nearly 13 percent.
The year-to-date numbers reflected comparable declines, with 444 felony crimes this year compared to 502 last year, a reduction of close to 12 percent. The stastistics include declines in robberies, felony assaults and grand larcenies.