By Jack Ryan
It was the safest July on record, but try telling that to Queens’ 17 shooting victims.
Murder dropped boroughwide last month, contributing to a citywide decrease in crime that resulted in the safest July on record and earned plaudits from top city officials. But in Queens, the number of shooting incidents, shooting victims and rapes all increased in Queens over the past 28 days.
The NYPD separates Queens into two sections for reporting purposes. In Southern Queens, murder decreased from seven in July 2017 to two last month, according to the CompStat interactive tracker. There was one murder in Northern Queens in July this year, the same as July 2017.
The three murders occurred in Springfield Gardens and under the No. 7 train tracks in Woodside.
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said a focus on the “real drivers of crime” enabled the officers “to keep reducing the shootings and the murders.”
“With these remarkable gains we’re making, even against already record-lows, it means that achieving further declines in crime and violence gets more difficult each year. So, everyone must participate,” O’Neill said. “No one can retreat. Together — all 8.6 million New Yorkers, in every neighborhood — that’s how we’re making our way forward.”
Despite the decline in murders, reported rapes and shooting incidents have increased in Queens.
Northern Queens recorded 17 rapes over the past 28 days compared to 12 over the same time period last year. There were 15 reported rapes in Southern Queens over the last 28 days, which equaled the number of reported rapes over the same time period last year.
There were also 17 people shot in Queens over the past 28 days, up from 14 in the same time period last year. The victims were stuck during 14 shooting incidents over the past 28 days — and average of one every other day — compared to 10 over the same period last year.
Though there were significantly fewer murders in NYC over the past 28 days — 20 compared to 35 in the same period last year — the number of shooting victims rose from 90 to 100.
Nevertheless, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has presided over historically low crime rates since beginning his tenure in 2014, commended the department in a statement.
“The bravest, most dedicated police force in the world never stops working to keep our City safe,” de Blasio said. ”And it’s the department’s winning formula of working with New Yorkers to stop crime in its tracks that’s made this July the safest in the City’s history.
“I have no doubt the women and men of the NYPD will remain laser-focused on pushing crime even lower as we approach the end of the summer,” he continued.
The day before the crime announcement, hundreds of cops convened outside City Hall and denounced the mayor for failing to negotiate a new contract with the police union.
“Mr. Mayor, you should’ve negotiated a contract with New York City police officers well over a year ago,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. “We sat at the bargaining table and tried to get that contract. We’re now unfortunately on our way to arbitration because he refused to negotiate realistically with the women and men that patrol our streets.”
NYPD crime data is publicly available through the interactive CompStat website, which provides specific data about crimes and locations.
Overall, crime is down 2 percent citywide this year. There were 24 murders in July, tied for the lowest number on record since 2013 and down from 38 in July 2017. The city also recorded the fewest robberies of any July on record.
Across the city, there were 90 shooting incidents in July, including two last week in Long Island City.
July’s overall crime decline puts the city on track to finish the year with fewer than 100,000 index crimes for only the second time in city history, the NYPD reported.