More New Yorkers are out of work, and the cash-strapped city isn’t graduating a new class of police cadets this year. Yet crime is going way down, the Associated Press reports. The city is heading toward its lowest number of murders in almost 50 years, and overall crime is also down, the New York Police Department said. The department projects about 457 murders this year, the lowest total since the department started keeping records in 1962. Overall reported crime is down nearly 12 percent from 2008, and 40 percent since 2001.
The downward trend is mystifying criminologists who say crime usually rises when times are tough. “I don’t have an answer to it,” said Andrew Karmen of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “The poor and the unemployed are not fed up, or in despair. They still retain hope that the economy will turn.” Said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly: “I’m often asked how low can crime go, and my answer is always the same: One crime is one too many.”