Today’s news:

Crime scene: Coney

Murder continues to be on the rise on the streets of Coney Island, particularly in the 60th Precinct’s Impact Zone, where extra cops are flooded into a high-crime area.

The 60th Precinct covers Brighton Beach and Coney Island, and the Impact Zone was instituted in late April between Surf and Mermaid avenues and between West 24th and West 36th streets after four murders and several shootings were reported in that neighborhood.

For the year to date there have been 10 murders in the precinct jurisdiction, five of which occurred in the Impact Zone, as compared to five murders at this time in 2008, four of which occurred in the Impact Zone.

In all of 2008, there were only eight reported murders in this area, according to police statistics.

Related to murder, there has been 15 non-fatal shootings so far in 2009 within the confines of the precinct, 12 of which occurred in the Impact Zone.

Last year at this time, there were five non-fatal shootings in the precinct, four of which occurred in the ImpactZone, police said.

So far this year, there has also been 27 gun arrests in the precinct, 20 of which cam in the Impact Zone. Additionally, nine firearms were recovered without arrest in the Impact Zone since it was instituted in April, police said.

Police said 32 officers, three sergeants and one lieutenant have been moved into the precinct to patrol the Impact Zone and the move does appear to be working.

“Basically it [Impact Zone] has become a ghost town down there as far as crime being down,” reported Captain William Tayor, the executive officer of 60th Precinct at their recent community council meeting, adding that major felony crime has fallen 58 percent there in the last 28-day period.

Taylor attributed the drop to a change in impact police hours from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. tours of duty to 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. tours after several shooting deaths during those hours.

Additionally, precinct police are doing vertical patrols in the public housing in the area along with housing police, he said.

Taylor said police have also stepped up patrols around the larger non-public housing developments.

Overall felony crime in the precinct is also down 17 percent, according the latest police statistics.

Leading the reduction are reported incidents of robber and burglary, which is down nearly 29 percent in both categories.

Thus far in 2009, there have been 159 reported robberies as compared to 223 at this time last year.

There has been 84 reported burglaries so far this year as compared to 118 at this time in 2008.

Felony assault is down a little more than 16 percent with 165 reported incidents so far in 2009 as compared to 197 at this time last year.

Grand larceny is down 11 percent with 375 reported incidents so far this year as compared to 422 at this time in 2008.

Auto theft is down seven percent with 66 reported incidents so far this year as compared to 71 at this time last year, and rape is about even with nine reported incidents so far in 2009 as compared to 10 at this time last year.

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