QUEENS — The 113th Precinct, historically perceived as a high-crime area, had the largest drop in overall crime in the entire city last year — a trend which continues this year, according to police officials, who in part attributed the success to a recent community policing initiative.
The precinct, which covers South Jamaica, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens, has seen a 13 percent decrease in overall crime, on top of the 15 percent reduction in overall crime last year, according to Capt. Brian Bohannon, executive officer for the 113th Precinct.
Statistics provided by the NYPD for the period beginning Jan. 1 and ending July 10 show that in the precinct:
• Murders decreased by 44 percent to five from nine compared to the same period last year.
• Burglaries declined more than 31 percent, from 131 in 2015 to 90 this year.
• Robberies fell 19 percent from 115 last year to 93 in 2016.
• Grand larceny dropped nearly 6 percent from 253 last year to 238 this year.
• Car thefts decreased 41 percent from 83 last year to 49 in 2016.
The only two crime categories that went up were felony assault, which increased by 4.9 percent from 203 last year to 213 in 2016, and rape — which rose by 25 percent to 10 incidents from eight last year, according to the NYPD.
The number of shootings also went up to 24 from 15 in the same period last year.
But Bohannon pointed out that in the past the precinct used to have about 40 to 50 shootings a month. For example, in 2012, there were 52 shootings in the 113th Precinct. But in 2013, there were 36 shootings, in 2014 there were 32 and last year there were 22.
Bohannon said that the new community policing program, which assigns officers to specific sectors of the neighborhood, has already brought positive results.
“It puts individual officers in the same sectors day in and day out,” he said, adding that the program, which was initiated at the precinct last September, allows officers to develop relationships residents and business owners, local churches and schools.
The program also led to establishing working groups where officers pair up with local residents and business owners, he said.
“We had a good success story a couple of months back where one of the working groups actually funneled some information to our officers that actually solved a non-fatal shooting,” Bohannon said.
He also said that anti-crime officers as well as neighborhood officers stay in touch with people released from jails to see if they require assistance with finding jobs or access to religious services, “to try to basically steer them towards the right track and get them out of a violent life.”
Placing foot posts in high-crime areas as a deterrent and Ideascale, an online forum allowing residents to share their ideas, complaints and suggestions, also helped, Bohannon said.