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Murder, robberies on the rise - Crime stats show grim trend across southern Brooklyn

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A small increase in killings, as well as a rash of teen-on-teen crimes, has created a criminal sea change for the cops in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South.

Recently released CompStat statistics show that Brooklyn South’s homicides have jumped by three percent over the last six months.

At the same time, the number of robberies reportedly in southern Brooklyn has climbed as well — by nearly eight percent.

Statistics show that as of June 22, 33 murders occurred in the 13 precincts that make up Patrol Borough Brooklyn South – one more than the 32 that occurred by the same date back in 2007.

While the increase is a small one, Patrol Borough Brooklyn South is sharing a disturbing trend with the rest of the city, which has seen a 7.6 jump in homicides so far this year.

Police said that by June 22, 238 murders took place across the five boroughs – just under half of the 496 killings reported in all of 2007, which was hailed as one of the city’s lowest homicide rates in decades. At the same time last year, 221 homicides had been reported throughout the city.

But, despite the small uptick in homicides citywide, area precincts have only seen a smattering of homicides this year.

The only precinct to see more than three homicides this year was the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, which saw seven. Yet, even that number was less than last year, when the 67th Precinct saw ten murders half way through 2007.

Cops said that some of the commands with a jump in homicides were “battling zeroes.” Both the 60th Precinct in Coney Island and the 66th Precinct in Borough Park had no murders in the first half of 2007. This year, both commands are investigating two murders.

At least three commands in southern Brooklyn have seen drops in homicides.

The 63rd Precinct, which serves Flatlands, Marine Park, Mill Basin and Bergen Beach, saw a 66 percent drop in homicides as detectives investigated one killing this year, as opposed the three that occurred by the end of June last year.

The 69th Precinct in Canarsie also saw a 66 percent drop in homicides, from six slayings in 2007 to two this year.

But when it comes to homicide reductions, the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge wins the prize with no homicides occurring in the neighborhood all year.

Officials at Patrol Borough Brooklyn South would not comment on the slight rise in homicide figures.

In previous interviews, Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, explained that each homicide is investigated with equal shares of professionalism and compassion.

“Each year, our success is measured by crime reduction statistics,” Chief Fox said “Although these measurements are necessary, we cannot forget that each crime number represents an actual person that became a victim within our borough. Families and loved one’s lives can become shattered by violent crimes and it is our obligation to pursue the offenders and prevent further criminal behavior.”

Over the last two years, the number of homicides in the command has dropped by 15 percent. Over the last seven years, Brooklyn South’s murder rate has fallen by eight percent, statistics show.

But cops are not just fighting murderers – they’re battling muggers who may be getting the upper hand.

Statistics show that there have been 1,634 robberies in Brooklyn South since the beginning of the year – 132 more than the 1502 that took place by this time in 2007.

Officials said that each precinct has seen a slight jump in robberies this year. Some precincts like the 60th in Coney Island have seen a one percent bump in robberies while others, such as the 62nd Precinct in Bensonhurst, has seen a whopping 33 percent jump in muggings.

Cops said that many of the robberies were considered teen-on-teen crimes that have occurred throughout the borough.

Most of these robberies included the thefts of T-Mobile Sidekick cell phones – the hottest item to be stolen in the city since the iPod, they said.

Of the nine precincts in our part of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, only the 63rd Precinct in Marine Park saw a reduction in robberies, which fell by nearly five percent for the year.

“Except for homicide, people have more of a chance to get physically hurt in robberies than in any other crime,” said Deputy Inspector Frank Cangiarella, the commanding officer of the 63rd Precinct. “We focus on our robberies to prevent that from happening.”

As of June 22, overall felony crime in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South was down by nearly four percent, statistics show.

The numbers of homicides and shootings across the city have continued to climb significantly this year, according to the latest batch of NYPD statistics.

Through June 1, 200 people have been slain across the five boroughs in 2008, compared with 190 during the same period in 2007 - a 5.2% increase.

The uptick in the number of shootings is more startling: So far this year, there have been 538 documented shooting incidents, compared with 492 over the same period a year ago - a whopping 9.3% jump.

Among the precincts showing the biggest jumps in violent crime is the 28th Precinct in Harlem, where six teenagers were shot on Memorial Day after enjoying a barbecue in Marcus Garvey Park.

The NYPD closed out last year with 496 murders, the fewest number of homicides in more than four decades. Overall crime fell 6% last year, and it is down an additional 2.98% this year, according to Police Department records.

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