Today’s news:

Crime on the rise, reports precinct

Nearly a third of the way into the year, the streets of the 90th Precinct are not nearly as safe as they were last year.

After a banner 2007 that saw crime drop 14 percent from its 2006 levels, crime is now up 16 percent across the precinct from where it was at this time last year.

The biggest increase has been in grand larcenies, which have seen a 29 percent increase, up to 159 from 123 at this time last year.

Robberies have been another problem: there have been 98 robberies this year, compared to 82 at this time last year, representing a 20 percent increase.

Burglaries are up 18 percent, to 97 this year compared to 82 last year; and felonious assaults are up 17 percent, with 54 of them this year compared to 46 at this time last year.

Most of the crime in the precinct has been concentrated in Williamsburg’s Southside, according to Stefan Komar, the precinct’s executive officer.

To get a handle on the crime wave, Brooklyn North Patrol sent 40 extra officers per shift to the precinct three weeks ago. Since there are three shifts per day, a total of around 120 new officers are now flooding the precinct.

“They basically send these officers when there’s a hotspot. They determined the Southside was a hot spot and sent us some resources to address the issue,” Komar said.

Despite the rough start to the year, Komar was optimistic that the flood of police officers will stabilize the precinct.

He pointed to a recent arrest on the Southside of a male suspect believed to have committed seven knifepoint robberies. The suspect had previously spent time in jail for burglary, so Komar hoped his arrest would also put a dent in the precinct’s burglaries.

This knife-wielding suspect had sparked fears around the neighborhood

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