Today’s news:

Safest summer ever, sez 70th Pct.

With major crime on the downswing in the 70th Precinct, Dep. Inspector Ralph Monteforte was quick to credit the men and women under his command.

“We’ve had the safest summer ever with only four shootings from Memorial Day to Labor Day and it’s because of the work of the detectives and patrol officers,” Monteforte said at the recent 70th Precinct Community Council meeting.

Monteforte said that for the year there have been 12 shootings, which is on pace for the precinct to have the lowest number of shootings since the records have been kept 20 years ago.

Monteforte said that at the same time, gun collars have been increasing, with 34 guns being taken off the street over the summer. Of that number, 15 guns were taken off the street by the plainclothes anti-crime team, he said.

Overall crime in the major categories was up close to four percent in May and now it’s down over five percent, so that’s about a 10 percent swing over the summer months, Monteforte pointed out.

Of the major crime categories, according to official statistics, rape and robbery are up for the year.

Rape is up 35 percent with 27 reported incidents thus far in 2008 as compared to 20 at this time last year.

Monteforte said that almost all of these rapes occurred where the victim knew the perpetrator.

Robberies are up 15 percent with 375 reported incidents thus far this year as compared to 325 at this time in 2007.

Monteforte noted that robbery is down 16 percent from two years ago.

“One good thing is 10 percent of our robberies this year were gunpoint, and last year it was 20 percent,” said Monteforte. “So a lot of robberies are physical force with young kids taking cell phones and iPods from other kids and young adults.”

On the plus side, felony assaults have fallen 30 percent with 253 reported incidents thus far in 2008 as compared to 364 at this time last year.

Also dropping is burglary, which is 22 percent off last year’s numbers by a 276 to 354 margin of reported incidents.

Grand larceny is up nearly seven percent with 613 incidents reported thus far this year as compared to 573 at this time in 2007.

Auto theft is down marginally with 138 reported incidents so far in 2008 as compared to 143 at this time last year.

There have been five reported murders in the precinct so far in 2007 as compared to six at this time last year.

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