Major Crime Down, But Murder, Rape Increase in Queens

 Mayor Bill de Blasio (center) and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill (right) hailed an overall drop in major crimes citywide, but murder and rape have both increased significantly in Queens this year. // Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (center) and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill (right) hailed an overall drop in major crimes citywide, but murder and rape have both increased significantly in Queens this year. // Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

By Victoria Merlino

In terms of overall crime, September was the safest month on record, according to the NYPD. But the rates of murder and rape keep rising this year.

“New York City is and continues to be the safest big city in America,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference Wednesday. “We do see some challenges we need to address and we take them very seriously.”

Those challenges are especially acute in Queens, where some violent crimes have increased significantly this year.

There have been 18 murders in Queens North this year as of Oct. 4, a 100 percent increase over the same time period in 2017. There have been 31 murders in Queens South, up from 29 over the same period last year.

In September, Queens recorded six murders compared to three in September 2017

Nevertheless, de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Lori Pollock hailed the overall decrease in crime citywide.

“We continue to make unbelievable strides in reducing overall crime,” Pollock said at an event Wednesday.

Robberies, burglaries and grand larceny went down citywide in September citywide. Felony assaults decreased the most, down from 1,769 in September 2017 to 1,654 last month. There were 70 shooting incidents—nine fewer than last year—and fewer crimes took place in people’s homes.

“Having just come off some major annual events here in New York City — the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the U.N. General Assembly — I want to congratulate all the men and women of the NYPD who showed, yet again, why our police department has a sterling reputation across the world,”  O’Neill said.