Overall crime down in NYC, but hate crimes still soaring

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The NYPD announced citywide crime statistics for August on Tuesday, and while overall crime is down, the instances of hate crimes -- particularly against Asians -- continue to skyrocket.

There have been 114 reported hate crimes against Asians so far this year, up 375% over the 24 by this time last year.

Hate crimes against Jewish people are up 51% from 84 to 127, while bias incidents against the LGBTQ+ community are up 314% from 14 to 58.

Overall, hate crimes have increased from 181 by this point in 2020 to 378 this year.

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Otherwise, the NYPD is reporting a year-over-year drop in crime across nearly all areas, including a dip in the number of murders and shooting incidents.

Murders decreased by 8.6%, from 58 to 53, while shooting incidents decreased by 30.7%, 241 to 167.

Overall crime in the city decreased by 5.4%, from 9,330 incidents in 2020 to 8,824 this year.

While the department made 343 gun arrests for the month of August 2021, a 6.3 % decrease compared with last August, gun arrests for the first eight months of 2021 have increased by 37%, from 2,208 to 3,025 compared with gun arrests through August 2020.

In August 2021, the decrease in overall index crime in the city compared with August 2020 was driven by a 27.2% decrease in burglary and a 10.9% decrease in robbery.

For the month of August, Grand Larceny Auto decreased by 5% (1,022 vs. 1,076), while the crime of grand larceny posted a 4.1% increase (3,422 vs. 3,287) compared to the previous year.

NYPD officials say crime reductions in August deepen those experienced in June and July, reflecting what they call the NYPD's relentless focus on precision policing to reduce violence across New York City.

The number of overall index crimes reported in the city through the end of August is the lowest tally for the first eight months of any calendar year since the start of the modern CompStat era nearly three decades ago.

"Every day, our police department and our hardworking men and women who make it up are continuing to develop better ways to police, encouraging better community relations and ensuring community safety for all," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said. "Our city's common future depends on this unwavering commitment to safety, fairness, intelligence-driven policing, targeted deployments, and state-of-the-art training, all with the continuing aim of reducing the damaging impact of criminality and violence in New Yorkers' lives."

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For the month of August, the number of shootings declined in every borough of the city except Staten Island, where the number remained constant (2 vs. 2) compared to the previous year.

"There is more work to do to continue driving down the kind of violence that tears at the fabric of our city," the department said in a press release. "Our officers relentlessly work to connect those who commit violent acts with their crimes and thus boost our ability to clear cases and ensure a measure of justice for victims. As the court system expands its operational capacity, the NYPD and its prosecutorial partners will continue presenting long-term case investigations that expressly hold accountable these drivers of violence."

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