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Nearly 5 percent jump in felonies

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While crime dipped slightly over the summer, cops in Coney Island and Brighton Beach are still trying to get a handle on the nearly five percent crime jump that residents have suffered through over the past nine months.

Statistics show that as of September 14, the 60th Precinct was fighting a 4.73 percent increase in felony crime. The percentage represents an increase of 47 crimes, from 994 in 2007 to 1041 this year.

Officials said that the 60th Precinct has seen a 13.2 percent jump in robberies, from 196 to 222 and a 16.5 percent increase in assaults, from 169 to 197.

The number of burglaries in the command dropped, from 130 in 2007 to 119 this year.

But this past summer can’t be blamed for the crime increase. Statistics show that between mid August and mid September, crime in the 60th Precinct dropped – by nearly five percent.

The same was seen just last week, when crime fell by 19.23 percent between September 8 and September 14.

At Tuesday’s first meeting of the 60th Precinct since the summer hiatus, Inspector Robert Johnsen, the commanding officer of the 60th Precinct, did not discuss statistics or crime trends.

“We had a good summer, but we also had a few beach tragedies,” Johnsen said, referring to the death of ten-year-old Akira Johnson, who drowned in the waters off of Coney Island at the end of July. “We had lots of people coming to Coney Island for the boardwalk and the beach. But now the summer is over and the fabulous community that’s always been here is still here.”

“[The summer] went to quick, but now what we have to do is look forward to the future,” he said.

At the meeting, Johnsen said that he doesn’t like telling crime statistics because it doesn’t tell the whole story of what’s going on in the command.

“One crime is too much as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “I could rattle off statistics, but if there’s just one person who has been a victim of a crime this year, these numbers aren’t going to mean a lot to them.”

Johnsen did credit both his officers and the Kings County District Attorney’s office for getting guns off the streets of Coney Island and Brighton Beach.

While 130 guns were recovered during a buy-back program hosted by the Kings County District Attorney’s office last week, his officers were responsible for arresting 28 people for gun possession over the last year – seven more than in 2007.

“One less gun means one less tragedy and one less ruined family,” he said.

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