Investigators on the scene of one of Maksim Gelman's stabbings.
Increased media reports of stabbings and other brutal attacks in Sheepshead Bay may have created the perception of a violent crime wave; now statistics from the 61st Precinct show that violent crime is unquestionably on the rise.
Local officials have been reporting at civic meetings that crime is down in the neighborhood, most recently at Community Board 15. But the latest crime data show no overall change whatsoever in the crime rate as of this date, and a sharp spike in violent crimes compared to last year.
“If you see something call 911. No place is safe,” said an officer at the 61st Precinct who declined to give his name.
The most recent CompStat report, a weekly summary of major crimes produced by every precinct, records a zero percent change compared to last year in the total number of crimes in the seven major categories – murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto. However, a closer look shows that the overall number is a balance between a decline in non-violent crimes and a steep uptick in violence.
For example, felony assault – an attack that results in serious injury and may include a weapon – is up 90 percent for this year, with 38 cases since January 1. The precinct also recorded four murders, compared to none last year, and two rapes, compared to one. Outside of the seven major categories, misdemeanor assault incidents are up 20 percent, with 111 cases recorded.
Historical data paints an even more alarming picture: this may be our most dangerous year in at least a decade.
Keep reading to see how our violent crime rates compare to those ten years ago, and why leaders think it’s not really as bad as the numbers suggest.