Crime In Queens Dips Over 16 Percent… But Borough Maintains Strong Citywide Lead in Auto Thefts

By Queens Courier Staff |

erious crimes in Queens dropped more than 16 percent during the first 11 months of this year, according to a report issued by the Police Dept. Only Staten Island, with a 25 percent crime drop, showed a greater decline in criminal activity.
The 100 Pct., in the Rockaways, was Queens’ safest command, with just 618 felonies and no murders. Even with a nine percent drop, the 109 Pct., with 4,561 felonies, had the most crimes reported in Queens.
The report revealed significant boroughwide declines in murder, rape, robbery, burglary, grand larceny, and auto theft, ranging from 10 to 23 percent. Only assault cases rose one percent during this 333-day period.
The office of queens District Attorney Richard Brown praised the increased police presence and the more efficient utilization of police anti-crime strategies as keys to the dipping crime rate. "The District Attorney’s office has not only focused its resources on the expeditious prosecution of career criminals, but on having them receive maximum sentences from the judicial system," declared Queens D.A. spokesperson Mary deBourbon.
The District Attorneys’ twin establishment of a Career Crime Unit and a Major Crimes Division were both instrumental in the prosecution and jailing of an estimated 30,000 career criminals in Queens, between 1993 and 1997, said de Bourbon.
Queens Borough President Claire Shulman also applauded the enforcement and legal strategies that resulted in the double-digit crime reductions. She also cited the Borough’s million-dollar domestic violence program, funded by the U.S. Justice Dept., as an effective weapon to curb criminal violence.
Despite these glowing figures, the report also revealed several troubling shortfalls:
• Nearly six felonies were committed every hour in Queens during the first eleven months of this year.
• The 109 Pct. (Flushing) had the highest number of felonies (4,561) in Queens, ranking third citywide.
• The 109 not only had the most auto thefts in Queens (1,540), but in New York City, as well. It also had the most burglaries (1,319) in the Borough.
• The 103 Pct. led the Borough in murders (13) and assaults (573), and the 114, with 731 thefts.
• The 113 Pct. had the Borough’s most rape cases (58) and the most grand larceny crimes (980).
• The 114, with 731 thefts, led the Borough in robberies.
Stressing the importance of improved and more comprehensive police work, Police Officer Steve Pohalski, Community Affairs Officer of the 109 Pct., said that more detailed crime investigations and heightened citizen awareness programs conducted by the Police Dept. have reduced car thefts in his precinct by 60 percent during the past five years.