Today’s news:

Crime stats: a mixed bag

With the exception of murder, major felony crime continues to plummet on the streets of Coney Island and Brighton beach, according to the latest police statistics.

There have been eight murders reported in 2009 as compared to three at this time last year.

Most of these murders have occurred along the western corridor of Coney Island, where police have instituted an Impact Zone between Surf and Mermaid Avenues and West 24th and West 36th Streets to curb an escalation of violent crime along these streets.

An Impact Zone is an area of a precinct which has experienced an upsurge in crime and where extra cops flood the area.

Despite the increase in murders, overall felony crime in the precinct is down nearly 19 percent for the year.

Leading the reduction is burglary, which is down 33 percent. There have been 73 reported burglaries so far this year as compared to 109 at this time in 2008.

Robbery is down about 29 percent, with 143 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 202 at this time last year.

Felony assault has fallen nearly 16 percent, with 155 reported incidents this year as compared to 184 at this time in 2008.

Grand larceny is down nearly 15 percent, with 336 incidents so far this year as compared to 394 at this time last year, and auto theft is off nine percent with 61 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 67 at this time last year.

Rape is up slightly with 10 reported incidents compared to eight at this time last year.

Officials from the 60th Precinct, which covers the area, did not return several calls to explain crime trends or the number of gun arrests or shootings for the year.

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