Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights are safer than they were a year ago.
As of October 18, crime was down 24.89 percent so far in 2009, compared to the previous year, a statistic that Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez said was a “phenomenal number,” coming as it has on the heels of a six percent decrease in crime in 2008, and a 16 percent reduction in 2007.
“Each year, we go through the numbers and talk about how do we do better than last year,” Rodriguez told members of the 68th Precinct Community Council, gathered in the community room at Shore Hill, 9000 Shore Road, for their October meeting.
But, for this year, Rodriguez said, the precinct is not only way down in crime, it’s also “number two in the city in crime reduction,” thanks, he said, to the efforts of the “police officers and supervisors who work in the precinct, along with the people in the community.
“I’m not here to take any credit for it,” Rodriguez remarked, adding, “Communication back and forth enables us to know what’s going on in the community, so we can turn the cops out there and they can do the job that they do. These kids are young, energetic, and they really care.”
So far, in 2009, the 68th Precinct has shown a decline in six out of the seven major crime categories. The only category that has shown an increase is murder. There has been one killing so far this year, compared to none last year.
The largest decline has been in the area of burglary, which is down 46.4 percent year to date, with 147 so far in 2009, compared to 274 at this time in 2008, when area residents had been hit hard by one particular burglar.
“Marathon Sunday, November 1st, is going to be a year we caught the burglar who was terrorizing this neighborhood,” Rodriguez reminded his listeners.
Also significantly down are rapes. With six so far in 2009, compared to nine at this point in 2008, the category shows a decrease of 33.3 percent. Right behind are robberies, a crime category which has registered a 32.8 percent decrease year to date, with 88 so far in 2009, compared to 131 at this point last year.
Felonious assaults are also way down. There have been 62 so far in 2009, compared to 83 at this point in 2008, for a decrease of 25.3 percent.
Grand larceny auto also registered a large decrease. With 116 crimes in the category so far this year, compared to 147 at this time last year, the category is down 21.1 percent year to date.
Finally, grand larceny is down 3.7 percent, with 289 so far in 2009, compared with 300 at this point in 2008.
That doesn’t mean that there are no problems in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. Rather, said Rodriguez, there have been quality-of-life issues “starting to pop up.”
In particular, he said, “some of the parksare becoming grounds where kids congregate.”
In these locations, he said, “You have kids hanging out and drinking, and it’s not two or three kids, it’s groups of kids, 30 or 40 kids, so a whisper becomes a roar. We are getting a lot of complaints on that.”
The precinct will keep a close eye on those locations, Rodriguez said, asking the group to let their children know and reminding them that “drinking in parks is not allowed, and you are not allowed to hang out in a lot of them after dusk.”