It seems that cops in downtown Brooklyn are bucking a criminal sea change that’s flooding the city.
While homicide numbers throughout the city increased by 8.2 percent by June 29, police have only seen a minimal increase in killings in downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
Area police are also beating down a rising robbery tide, which has jumped by 4.4 percent citywide.
Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, which protects the southern half of the borough as well as Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, which includes Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, have both seen increases in robberies, by 8.3 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, according to recent NYPD CompStat statistics.
But the two commands managed to escape the increase in homicides, which has, for the most part, been localized to Manhattan.
Statistics show that 34 homicides were investigated in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South as of June 29. Cops were investigating the same number of killings on the same date in 2007.
The number of murders in Patrol Borough Brooklyn North has dropped by nearly 22 percent, from 65 in 2007 to 51 this year.
Statistics do show that eight murders have taken place in the six precincts in Park Slope, downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Greenpoint this year. Last year, five homicides in these precincts were investigated.
Homicide increases were found in the 76th Precinct, which covers Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg and the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, although in the last two precincts, just one homicide put them ahead of last year’s numbers.
The 76th Precinct exhibited the greatest “murder growth” with three killings versus one last year, according to CompStat reports.
Inspector Michael Kemper, the commanding officer of the 76th Precinct, said that two of the three homicides have been solved.
Statistics show that there have been no murders in the 78th Precinct in Park Slope. The number of killings in Brooklyn Heights, which is protected by the 84th Precinct, remained the same at one.
Officials at Patrol Borough Brooklyn South would not comment on the slight rise in homicide figures.
In previous interviews, Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, explained that each homicide is investigated with equal shares of professionalism and compassion.
“Each year, our success is measured by crime reduction statistics,” Chief Fox said “Although these measurements are necessary, we cannot forget that each crime number represents an actual person that became a victim within our borough. Families and loved one’s lives can become shattered by violent crimes and it is our obligation to pursue the offenders and prevent further criminal behavior.”
It seems that cops are indeed preventing further criminal behavior, at least when it comes to robberies.
While the city, Patrol Borough Brooklyn South and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North have seen increases in robbery complaints, the three precincts in the heart of the downtown Brooklyn area – the 78th, 76th and 84th -- have seen decreases in robberies, by 13 to 23 percent.
Kemper, whose precinct saw a 23-percent drop in robberies, credits his officers and their quick response to improving robbery trends.
“We basically deploy personnel to areas where there has historically been problems in the past,” said Kemper, when explaining his officers’ crime fighting strategy. “If we take a robbery we immediately run out to it, we don’t wait for a second or third robbery to happen.”
The 88th Precinct in Fort Greene, however, has seen a 26 percent increase in robberies, from 99 in 2007 to 125 this year.
The 90th Precinct in Williamsburg has also seen an increase, by 16 percent.
Cops said that many of the robberies were considered teen-on-teen crimes that have occurred throughout the borough.
Most of these robberies included the thefts of T-Mobile Sidekick cell phones – the hottest item to be stolen in the city since the iPod, they said.
The number of robberies in Greenpoint remained the same as of June 29. By that date 63 muggings were investigated, officials said.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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