New York goes from a 'Summer of Blood' to a day with no violent crime as city records first day in memory where no one was shot or knifed
The rare occasion came as New York approached the end of a year when the city's murder rate is on target to hit its lowest point since 1960
Thursday 29 November 2012
New York used to be regarded as one of the most dangerous places in the world, but from 10.25pm last Sunday until 11.20am on Tuesday, not a single knife attack or gun crime was recorded by the city's police.
The Big Apple thus recorded its first day in living memory during which no one was shot or stabbed.
The rare occasion came as New York approached the end of a year when the city's murder rate is on target to hit its lowest point since 1960.
Technically, the day did have one shooting, but as it was a 16-year-old who accidentally shot himself in the thigh no crime was recorded.
New York police department chief spokesman, Paul Browne, said it was "first time in memory" that the city's police force had experienced such a peaceful 24 hours.
Despite seeing a year with such a low murder rate, a spike in homicides in July prompted one tabloid newspaper to declare New Yorkers were living through a 'summer of blood'.
While crime in the city that never sleeps is up 3% overall, including a 9% surge in grand larceny that police attribute to a rash of smartphone thefts, murder is down 23% year on year, the New York police department said.
There have been 366 murders in the city so far this year, compared with 472 at this time last year, according to the NYPD.
By comparison, Chicago, Illinois, a city of about 2,707,000 people that has been plagued by gang violence in 2012, has registered 462 murders so far this year, according to the Chicago Police Department.
In Philadelphia, a city of about 1,536,000 people, there have been 301 murders so far this year, the exact same number as this time last year, the Philadelphia Police Department reports.
Tom Repetto, author of 'American Police, 1949-2012', attributed New York's success to "pro-active" police department tactics, including its controversial stop and frisk policy.
While critics have charged that the dramatic increase in stops hasn't led to a similar rise in gun seizures, police officials have countered that proactive tactics have made criminals think twice about taking their guns out on the street.
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