By Victoria Merlino
As the city geared up for Tuesday's National Night Out Against Crime, the NYPD announced a mixed bag of crime news that saw year-to-date decreases in every major crime category, but a slight rise in crime for the month of July.
In Queens, year-to-date results have also been mixed, with major crimes like reported rapes and felony assaults up in the Queens South patrol area from the previous year. Other categories like robberies and murders saw significant decreases, according to NYPD CompStat data. Queens South includes the Rockaways, Richmond Hill, Jamaica, Queens Village and other neighborhoods.
Most crimes were down in Queens North, such as burglaries and robberies, or slightly up from last year, such as with felony assaults. Murders in Queens North ballooned from 9 in 2018 to 15 in 2019. Queens North includes Ridgewood, Long Island City, Woodside, Flushing, Corona, Elmhurst and other nearby neighborhoods.
Misdemeanor sex crimes, which the Eagle previously reported were on the rise in March, continue to climb in both Queens North and South, up to 191 cases this year compared to 138 cases last year in Queens South, and 309 this year compared to 241 last year in Queens North.
The NYPD released a statement addressing its commitment to reducing violence through community engagement and “neighborhood policing,” a tactic that Queens-based activists against gun violence have criticized in the past.
“To sustain record-low levels of crime in New York City, and to further reduce violence, we must all come together — it is a shared responsibility,” Police Commissioner James O'Neill said in a statement. “At events across the City tonight, get to know one another, and talk about ways to enhance public safety, solve problems and have fun. These are going to be enjoyable, safe, community-building events.”