Today’s news:

Slow drop in East Flatbush crime stats

Crime in East Flatbush continues to drop, although a bit more slowly than in the past.

As of September 21, the precinct was down 2.85 percent, year to date, in the seven major crime categories. The decline in the precinct was close to the overall citywide drop in crime so far in 2008, which was 3.05 percent as of September 21.

Overall, the precinct is down 48 crimes compared to this time last year. At this point in 2007, 1,685 crimes had been reported in the precinct. This year, that number so far is 1,637.

The largest drop in crime, in East Flatbush, has been in the area of grand larceny auto, which has experienced a 31.4 percent decline so far this year. There have been 201 GLAs so far this year; at this point in 2007, there had been 293 GLAs.

Also substantially down are burglaries, which have been reduced 12 percent so far this year. There have been 299 burglaries reported in the 67th Precinct year to date; last year, at this point, there had been 340.

Also down are murders and felonious assaults. So far, this year, there have been 13 murders, compared to 14 at this point last year, for a 7.1 percent decline. So far this year there have been 296 felonious assaults, compared with 308 at this point last year, for a decline of 3.9 percent.

Crime has gone up in three of the seven major crime categories. Rapes are up 26.6 percent year to date, with 19 so far in 2008, compared to 15 at this point last year.

Robberies are also up, 19.5 percent. So far this year, there have been 348 robberies reported in the 67th Precinct, compared with 291 at this point last year.

Finally, grand larcenies are also up. There have been 461 so far this year, compared to 424 at this point last year, for an increase of 8.7 percent.

As Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues told members of Community Board 17, gathered at the First United Church of Jesus Christ, 590 Utica Avenue, for their September meeting, the precinct is doing more with less.

“We’re 35 cops down from last year,” Pegues noted. “and 70 copes down from two years ago. Right now, the precinct is as low as it’s ever been in manpower, and we’re still doing the job.”

Part of the decline in overall crime Pegues attributed to increasing police presence in areas where there have been problems. If an area has been the scene of multiple robberies, he said, increasing the number of cops on patrol is likely to deter additional robberies.

But, he stressed, not every crime is susceptible to that sort of approach. “If I want to shoot you,” he told the board members, “I don’t care. I’ll wait till the cops leave, then shoot you.”

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