Crime continues to fall in New York City even though it is rising in some other places. The New York Times says the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg credits a series of selective crime-fighting initiatives. Operation Impact redeployed 800 police officers into 61 crime pockets around the city. Since then, homicides in those areas have dropped nearly 47 percent compared with the same period last year, while robberies fell 43 percent and grand larceny crimes dropped 31 percent.
Operation Spotlight targets a small group of misdemeanor offenders who commit a disproportionate share of crimes, sending them to a special court for stricter sentencing. The number of those offenders sentenced to jail has increased 46 percent from last year, and the percentage of those defendants held on bail has increased nearly 20 percent.
Bloomberg, who came to the job with no crime-fighting background, has relied on the advice of his police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, and his criminal justice coordinator, John Feinblatt. The administration says it has come up with ways to make crime drop further, by zeroing in on the most intransigent pockets of criminality. The Bloomberg team has taken the Compstat crime-statistics analysis program even further, using the statistics to sharpen its crime-fighting focus beyond merely making more arrests.
Major New York City crime overall has fallen 8 percent this year from the same period last year. National figures for the same interval are not yet available. Serious crime reported to law enforcement agencies across the country during the first six months of 2002 increased by 1.3 percent compared with the same period in 2001, the FBI says.