Today’s news:

Overall crime down; murder is up

Nearly five months into 2009, crime in Bensonhurst continues to plummet.

As of May 10, crime in the 62nd Precinct was down, overall, 19.96 percent since the beginning of the year. Crime in the city as a whole is down 12.34 percent for the same time period.’

“We’re about 100 crimes down for the year, so far,” Deputy Inspector John Sprague told members of the 62nd Precinct Community Council, gathered at the Knights of Columbus, 13th Avenue and 86th Street, for a joint meeting with the 68th Precinct Community Council.

Indeed, as of May 10, the precinct was down in five of the seven major crime categories. It was down 33.3 percent in rapes, with two so far in 2009, compared with three at this time last year. It was also down 33.1 percent in burglaries, with 79 year to date, well below the 118 that had been committed by this time in 2008. Robberies were down 27.6 percent, with 63 so far in 2009, compared with 87 at this point in 2008. Grand larcenies are also down −− with 132 so far in 2009, compared with 166 at this time last year, the decline in the category is 20.5 percent. Finally, felonious assaults are down 8.5 percent, with 43 so far this year, compared to 47 at this point last year.

The two categories where the precinct has seen increases are murder (up 100 percent, with four so far this year, compared to two, at this point last year) and grand larceny auto, which is up 6.9 percent, with 62 year to date, compared to 58 at this time last year.

The decrease in robberies Sprague credited to “enforcement” and “outreach,” as well as to assistance from the district attorney’s office. “If we don’t keep people behind bars, these people will be back on the street and become recidivists,” he told the group.

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