New York City’s murder total has shot up nearly 15 percent this year, and residents in the worst-hit precincts are worried that the city is headed back to darker days, says the New York Daily News. The New York Police Department recorded 437 murders as of Sunday, compared with 382 in the same period last year. East Harlem’s 25th Precinct had 10 slayings this year compared with two at this time last year.
“We’ve seen the neighborhood go down,” said Rosa Canty, 65, who has lived in East Harlem for 35 years. “It’s not what it used to be. [Crime] has increased noticeably.” In the 77th Precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, murders are up from 12 last year to 15 – and crime in general is on the rise. “It’s not bad like it was years ago,” said Franki Bourn, 48. “But with people losing jobs, it is only going to get worse.” Last year, the number of murders in the city hit a record low: 471 for the entire year. Two decades ago, murders topped 2,000 a year. Overall reported serious crime – covering murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft – has dipped about 1 percent citywide.