Some 05 spikes in crime Downtown
By Albert Amateau
Felony crimes in the six categories of homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft continued to decline in 2005 from the previous year in the Downtown police precincts, according to comparative statistics compiled by the New York Police Department.
But in some precincts there were spikes in rape, robbery and assault. Increases in grand larceny on the Lower East Side were attributed to the theft of property, like bags left unattended in public places.
The citywide decline in crime since 1990, when the Police Department first implemented its Safe City Safe Streets program, has continued, although at a reduced rate in recent years. Throughout the five boroughs, felony crimes declined by 5 percent last year from 2004.
In the First Precinct, which encompasses Lower Manhattan including Hudson Square, Soho, Tribeca and the Seaport, rape, robbery and burglary increased last year compared to 2004.
Nevertheless, the total number of felony crimes in the First Precinct declined last year, with 2,198 reported in 2005 compared to 2,335 the previous year.
But there were seven rapes last year compared to six in 2004 and robbery increased by about 15 percent, with 174 rapes reported last year versus 151 reported in 2004. Burglary increased by nearly 20 percent with 290 reported last year compared to 242 the year before.
However, there was a significant decline in auto theft, with 88 cars reported stolen last year compared to 120 the prior year. Grand larceny was down slightly with 1,624 last year and 1,692 in 2004, and assaults declined by more than 5 percent, with 115 reported last year compared to 122 the year before.
In the Sixth Precinct, which covers the Village between W. 14th and Houston Sts. west of Broadway, the total number of felony crimes declined by 5 percent last year compared to 2004 but rape increased, with nine reported in 2005, up from the five reported in 2004. Felony assault also increased by about 10 percent, with 105 in 2005 compared to 93 the previous year.
Many of the rapes reported last year involved the use of alcohol, according to Detective Mike Singer, the precinct public affairs officer, who noted that if a victim is too drunk to give consent, a sexual complaint is often classified as rape. Over the past 16 years, the number of rapes per year in the Sixth Precinct has fluctuated between five and 18, with the highest number being recorded in 1992.
Many of the felony assaults in the Village last year occurred on the streets but started in clubs and bars, Singer said.
One homicide was reported in the precinct last year compared to three in 2004. Robbery, another crime that usually occurs on the street, declined by about 10 percent, with 229 reported last year versus 256 the year before. Burglary was down by about 6 percent, with 316 reported last year compared to 335 the previous year. Grand larceny was down slightly with 1,296 reported last year compared to1,311 in 2004 and auto theft declined more than 20 percent with 83 cars reported stolen in 2005 to 111 the previous year.
Over the past 16 years, the number of felonies in the Sixth Precinct peaked in 1990, when there were 7,250. The low point was in 2004 when there were 1,988 reported felonies. Last year, The Village precinct reported a total of 2,032 felonies.
In the Ninth Precinct, which covers the East Village from 14th to Houston Sts. east of Broadway, robberies and felony assaults increased last year but the total number of felonies declined by nearly 6 percent, with 1,636 reported in 2005 compared to 1,737 the year before.
Deputy Inspector Dennis DeQuatro, commanding officer of the precinct, attributed the increase in the street crimes of robbery and assault to the surging number of bars and clubs and the resulting increase in nighttime pedestrian traffic.
There were 262 robberies last year compared to 208 the year before, for a 25 percent increase. However, arrests for robbery increased by 6 percent last year from the previous year, DeQuatro noted. There were 165 assaults in the precinct in 2005 compared to 158 the year before.
There were 18 rapes reported last year, the same number as the year before. DeQuatro noted that many of the rape cases involved alcohol and some involved victims under 18, the age of consent.
Homicide declined, with two reported in 2005 compared to four the previous year. Burglary in the East Village declined by more than 23 percent, with 288 reported last year compared to 378 the previous year. Grand larceny was down by nearly 7 percent, with 785 last year compared with 844 the year before. Auto theft also declined by more than 9 percent, with 115 last year and 127 the year before.
Crime in the Seventh Precinct, which covers the Lower East Side south of Houston St. and east of Allen St., declined by 4.6 percent, with the total number of felonies at 803 last year, compared to 842 the year before. But there were seven homicides compared to three the year before and 10 rapes last year compared to seven in 2004. However, arrests were made in all the rape and homicide cases.
Grand larceny increased by nearly 15 percent, with 308 reported last year compared to 268 the prior year. Captain Frank Dwyer, commanding officer since last October, noted that most grand larceny involved property left unattended late at night, like bags on the backs of chairs in bars and clubs. Dwyer also said that leaving laptop computers and other valuables in plain sight in parked cars was also risking theft.
Robbery was down, the first decline in four years, with 204 last year compared to 209 in 2004. Assault was down significantly, with 93 reported last year compared to 121 the previous year, and auto theft declined to 84 last year from112 the previous year.
Over the past four years, the total number of felonies in the Seventh Precinct declined by 7 percent.
Felonies in the Fifth Precinct, which covers Chinatown, Little Italy and part of the Lower East Side between Broadway and Allen St. from Houston St. to the Brooklyn Bridge, declined more than 6 percent, with 1,096 felonies reported in 2005 compared to 1,170 in 2004. Nevertheless, homicide increased from one in 2004 to four last year and rape increased to 10 last year from five in 2004.
Burglary, however, was down about 11 percent, with 154 burglaries reported in the Fifth precinct last year compared to 179 in 2004. Assault declined nearly 12 percent, with 81 in 2005 and 92 the year before. Grand larceny decreased about 6 percent, with 653 reported last year versus 698 the previous year. Auto theft was down about 8 percent, with 64 last year and 70 the previous year. There were 130 robberies in the precinct last year, the same number reported in 2004.