By Albert Amateau
Crime in the seven major categories in the police precincts covered by Downtown Express continued the decline in 2007 that began more than 10 years ago, according to NYPD Comprehensive Statistic (Comp Stat) reports.
Even in the two East Side precincts, the Fifth Precinct, which covers Chinatown, and the Seventh Precinct, which covers most of the Lower East Side, where there were spikes in robbery and felony assault, overall felonies declined more than one percent last year over the previous year.
Crime in the Manhattan South Borough command, which includes the 10 precincts between the Battery and 59th Sts., declined 6 percent last year from the previous year. Citywide crime declined 6.2 percent last year compared to 2006. Murder citywide, with 492 reported last year, was the lowest in more than a decade and decreased from 590 in 2006.
In the First Precinct, which covers the Battery to Brooklyn Bridge river to river and west of Broadway from Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall to Houston St., there was a 5.16 overall decline in felonies despite small increases in rape to seven last year from five in 2006 and an increase in robberies to 129 compared to the previous year’s 120.
Dep. Inspector Anthony Bologna, the precinct’s commander, said the decrease in total felonies was considerable coming after the 12.5 percent decrease in 2006 from 2005. The bump in robberies was also accompanied by a 13.7 percent increase in arrests for robbery last year, with 63, compared to 58 in 2006. All of the rapes this year as in last year were by acquaintances of the victims, Bologna said.
There were no murders reported in the precinct in 2007 with one reported in 2006. Felony assault declined 3.3 percent with 88 in 2007 and 91 the previous year. Burglary was down 9.9 percent with 227 last year and 252 in 2006. Grand larceny was down 5.1 percent and car theft declined 14.2 percent, with 66 last year and 77 the previous year.
In the Fifth Precinct, which covers Chinatown, Little Italy and part of the Lower East Side between Brooklyn Bridge and Houston St. from Broadway to Allen St. and the East River, felonies declined 1.16 percent last year from the previous year despite increases in robbery, assault and auto theft.
There were 149 robberies in the precinct last year compared to 131 in 2006 and 127 felony assaults in 2007 compared to 102 the previous year. Car theft increased to 43 last year from 40 the previous year. Burglary declined 19 percent with 122 reported last year compared to 151 the previous year. Grand larceny was down 4.7 percent with 577 last year and 606 the previous year. There was no change in the number of murders, with two reported both last year and the year before and no change in rape, with five last year and five the previous year.
In the Sixth Precinct, which covers the Village between 14th and Houston Sts. from Broadway. to the Hudson River, total crime in the major felony categories was down 6.61 percent last year compared to 2006 despite an increase in homicides -- five last year compared to three in 2006 -- and rape -- eighth last year compared to six the previous year.
There was a 2.3 percent decline in robbery in the Sixth Precinct, with 208 -- the lowest number in 18 years compared to 213 last year. There was a slight increase in felony assault, 123 last year compared to 120 in 2006, mostly attributed to bar and club incidents. Burglary in the Village, 198 reported, was also the lowest in 18 years, compared to 274 in 2006, a 27.7 percent decline. Grand larceny declined 4.5 percent last year from the previous year. There were 1,222 grand larcenies in 2007, another 18-year low point. Car theft was slightly higher, with 74 reported last year from 72 the previous year.
In the Seventh Precinct, which covers the Lower East Side east of Allen St. and between Houston St., the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River, felonies declined 1.52 percent last year from the previous year, despite a 26 percent increase in robbery, to 218 from 173 the previous year, and a 21 percent increase in felony assault to 124 up from 102 the previous year.
Dep. Inspector Frank O’Dwyer, precinct commander, said he is putting greater focus on robberies. He urged residents to be careful whom they let into their buildings at night. Dwyer also said young people should accompany elders in the streets late at night and suggests that people not let jewelry, like large gold chains, be visible when walking at night.
There were two murders in the precinct last year compared to four in 2006, but seven rapes were reported compared to six in 2006. Burglaries declined 8.6 percent to 116 in 2007 compared to 127 the previous year.
There were 321 grand larcenies last year, down 11 percent from the 361 reported in 2006. Auto theft declined 33.3 percent last year with 56 reported compared to 84 in 2006.