Statistics from the NYPD show a decrease in almost all major crimes in February compared with 2022, including a 15% drop in shootings.
New numbers from the department show an overall crime decrease of 5.6% year over year.
“We are very encouraged about the trends that we are seeing, and it is due to the hard work of the women and men of the NYPD,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Friday during an appearance on “Mornings On 1.”
“Just talking about the month of February, we're down nearly 6% in major crime in February. Double-digit decreases in murder, sexual assaults, robberies and burglaries,” she said. “And we're going to continue to do everything we can to continue to drive down those numbers.”
NYPD statistics show that the decrease in overall crime was largely driven by a 27.8% decrease in murders, 22.1% decrease in rapes and 15% decrease in burglaries.
However, not all crime saw a decline: Felony assaults were up 4.8%, and car thefts were up 3.2%. Crimes on New York City buses and subway also climbed 1.9%, with a total of 169 incidents in February.
Meanwhile, numbers also show that while crime was down in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, incidents were up in Queens by 2.1% and by 11.2% on Staten Island.
Sewell told NY1 that there are dealing with “some stubborn areas” in the outer boroughs.
“We are working with our partner [on Staten Island], the district attorney there,” Sewell said. “We have some stubborn areas that we are dedicating some resources to. And when we deploy to that area, when we focus on that area, we fully expect to drive down crime in those areas as well.”
Still, the police commissioner said that numbers only tell one part of the story, and she believes the way people feel is more important.
“I can give you numbers all day and tell you about the decreases we have. But if people don't feel like they're safe, what does that mean exactly? It comes down to how people move about the city,” Sewell said.
“Everywhere I go in the city now is so much more populated. There are restaurants that are packed, streets that are packed, but it's our job to make sure that we continue to have the deployment in place, the visibility of the police officers so people actually see the police officers. And the mayor has made it a point to make sure we do this, not just as a police department, but as a city with a holistic view.”
The commissioner’s comments came just two days after NYPD brass skipped out on a City Council hearing regarding the controversial Strategic Response Group, which is facing multiple allegations of abuse of power.
The unit’s officers were accused of using overly aggressive tactics against protesters and other New Yorkers during the George Floyd protests in 2020, and over 140 members have been recommended for discipline by the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Sewell refused to elaborate on why NYPD officials skipped the hearing for a third time, but said only that the NYPD is prohibited from speaking about the allegations.
“This department will never shy away from public scrutiny or conversation about our operations. We are involved in mediation as it relates to that case, and we are actually prohibited because of that confidential agreement that we signed to be able to speak publicly about those negotiations,” Sewell said.