Is Violent Crime Increasing on the Lower East Side?

There’s been a lot of coverage in the tabloids the past few months about the rising crime rate in New York City. Just today, the Daily News reported there have been 59 murders in North Brooklyn this year (there were 43 in the same period last year). Citywide the murder rate is up 11 percent. But what’s the story on the Lower East Side?

Here’s a snapshot of the neighborhood’s three precincts, based on the NYPD’s controversial CompStat figures:

7TH PRECINCT (year to date)

Overall crime: down 4.4%

Murder: 1 (unchanged)

Rape: 3 (33% increase)

Robbery: 66 (15% decrease)

Felony assault: 76 (18.8% increase)

9TH PRECINCT (year to date)

Overall crime: down 5.26%

Murder: 2 (there were o in the first half of 2009)

Rape: 7 (12% decrease)

Robbery: 80 (16% decrease)

Felony assault: 80 (1.3% increase)

5TH PRECINCT (year to date)

Overall crime: down 15%

Murder: 0 (unchanged)

Rape: 4 (300% increase)

Robbery: 47 (34% decrease)

Felony assault: 69 (15% decrease)

A couple of notes. First, these statistics do not include Police Service Area 4, which is responsible for the neighborhood’s public housing projects.  Also, it’s important to take into consideration that many people feel the NYPD’s statistics are, to put it charitably, unreliable. . But having said that, it’s worth acknowledging that the violence being seen in Brooklyn and the Bronx is not yet apparent on the Lower East Side. There’s concern about the increasing number of assaults in the 7th Precinct. But considering there were 60 slayings recorded in the three precincts in 1990, the murder rate is still extremely low by any hisorical measure.