Record Setting Year in NYC Crime Reduction



December 28, 2009

No. 556


Defying Conventional Wisdom, Crime Continues to Fall Despite Challenging Economic Times

Record Low Number of Murders, Breaking Low Murder Record Set in 2007

461 Murders so far This Year Compared to 516 for Same Period Last Year

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that crime in New York City fell again in 2009, marking the nineteenth straight year in which major felony crime has declined. Included in the most recent crime statistics are reductions in every borough and in nearly every category. The City is on course to have fewer homicides than in any year since comparable records were kept beginning in 1963. The previous record low was 2007, and the second lowest year on record was 2008. Prior to 2002, the City hadn’t recorded fewer than 600 murders in a year since the early 1960s.  This will be the eighth consecutive year the City has seen less than 600 murders. Overall, major felony crime in New York City has fallen 11 percent this year compared to last year, and nearly 35 percent since 2001. The announcement took place at the Beacon Theater, at a graduation ceremony for the latest class of 250 NYPD police officers.

“The officers graduating today are joining the greatest police force in the world, one that has helped drive crime down even farther in 2009, when fewer murders were committed than any year in record,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The numbers are staggering: since 2001, we’ve driven murder down by 29 percent, rape down by 38 percent, robbery down by 34 percent – the list goes on. Commissioner Kelly and the extraordinary men and women of the NYPD deserve the credit and our thanks. The conventional wisdom is that when the economy suffers crime goes up, but we’ve never accepted that premise. Despite the downturn, New York City – already the safest big city in the nation – became even safer in 2009, and we’re committed to building on our progress in 2010.”

“Persistence and professionalism were the watch words of the NYPD in 2009, and they paid off with record crime reduction,” said Commissioner Kelly.

“Mayor Bloomberg’s charge to us – to be as aggressive as possible taking illegal guns off the streets – is paying off,” said Criminal Justice Coordinator Feinblatt. “We’ve passed the toughest law in the country against illegal possession of a loaded handgun, we passed a local law making it easier for the NYPD to keep track of gun offenders, and we’ve cracked down on illegal trafficking by conducting out-of-state undercover investigations aimed at straw sales and illegal activity at gun shows. All of it has meant fewer guns on our streets, and as a result, they are safer than they’ve ever been before.”

In addition to declines in crime across nearly all crime categories and boroughs, crime also fell in the City’s public housing and in the transit system.  Since 2001, crime in the City’s public housing has now fallen by one-third since and crime in the transit system has fallen by nearly half.

The Police Department continues to target high crime areas with Operation Impact. Under Operation Impact, specially designated Impact Zones in areas experiencing upticks in crime are flooded with teams of rookie and veteran police officers. The most recent phase of Operation Impact, which began in July of this year, has driven crime down by 19 percent in the impact zones. Since the program began in January 2003, reductions of up to 30 percent in impact zones have been recorded.

% Change 2009 vs. 2008 % Change since 2001

down 11 %

down 29%


down 8%

down 38%


down 18%

down 34%

Felony Assault

up 2%

down 29%


down 8%

down 42%

Grand Larceny

down 12%

down 15%

Auto Theft

down 14%

down 64%

All Major Crime

down 11%

down 35%

Crime in Transit System

down 13%

down 47%

Crime in Public Housing

down 15%

down 33%

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