CIVIC CENTER — Stabbings and slashings were up 20 percent during the first months of 2016, officials said Monday.
The number of Felony assaults shot up in the first three months of 2016, driven mostly by a spike in stabbings and slashings, which were up to 899 through March 31, compared with 746 in 2015.
"Make no mistake about it, stabbings and slashings aren't going away," Police Commissioner William Bratton said during a press conference at One Police Plaza Monday afternoon. "It's one of the few crimes that are going up [to a] level that is of concern to us."
The NYPD increased subway patrols to try and address the slashing and stabbing issue and announced “Operation Cutting Edge” to better analyze the crime, which the mayor said will now be analyzed with the same scrutiny as murders.
The increase in felony assaults was also driven in part by more crime types being added to that category, such as assaults on bus drivers, according to Deputy Commissioner of Operations Dermot Shea.
“[It’s] done on purpose to protect certain classes: whether assaults in schools, bus drivers, assaults that occur in prison,” Shea said.
Overall crime though remained at a historic low. There was a 21 percent drop in murders, with 18 fewer so far this year compared with 2015, and a 14 percent decrease in shootings, according to the NYPD.