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Rockaway Remains in NYPD's 'Areas of Concern' Even as Crime Drops Citywide

By Katie Honan | July 2, 2015 7:14pm | Updated on July 5, 2015 9:13pm
 An NYPD SkyWatch on Beach 66th Street and Beach Channel Drive, which was installed last month to help combat crime, police said.
An NYPD SkyWatch on Beach 66th Street and Beach Channel Drive, which was installed last month to help combat crime, police said.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

FAR ROCKAWAY — The rising crime rate on the peninsula is bucking a citywide downward trend, police say.

The two beachside precincts in Queens represent one of three areas that continue to elude the NYPD's efforts to reduce crime, Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea at a briefing Wednesday about record-low crime.

"There’s three locations in New York City right now that are causing some concern for me, and that we are collectively moving resources to address — the Rockaways in Queens, the 60 Precinct (in Brooklyn), and then the Harlem one that I mentioned," he said, referring to the 23rd, the 25th, and the 32nd precincts. 

The summer began in Rockaway with at least five shootings across the Rockaways, including one that prompted a massive NYPD manhunt with a helicopter and hundreds of officers. 

Shooting incidents in the 100th Precinct have spiked 100 percent — from 5 to 10 — since last year, records show. 

In the 101st Precinct, the number of shootings incidents went from 8 to 9.  

Overall crime in the precinct spiked 20 percent over five years. In the 100th Precinct, it's gone up 42 percent, records show.

Councilman Donovan Richards announced Wednesday new funds for programs that help combat the rising gun violence in his district, which covers the eastern portion of the peninsula. 

He brought the city's CureViolence initiative to Far Rockaway last year after another violent summer.

Officials dedicated half a million dollars to community programs that set out to curb crime and violence, including a school conflict mediation program at two Far Rockaway schools and "violence interrupters program."

“The expansion of New York City’s anti-gun violence initiative is instrumental in reducing crime in Far Rockaway,” he said in a statement.

“With these partnerships, we can work together with the residents of the Rockaways to improve their quality of life and ensure that our communities are safer and more secure by getting at the root of these violent crimes." 

Richards called crime a "cancer" — and said the community can stop it before it spreads through programs.

An email to the NYPD regarding new programming and resources to combat the violence was not immediately returned.