Early-Summer Spike in Gun Violence Followed by Safest August in 20 Years


There was a moment back in June when CompStat computers kept spitting out calculations that showed gun violence on the rise and, gradually, a dark, sinking thought settled over the city: What if Joe Lhota was right and the streets of New York would be bathed in blood before summer was over? What if we chose…poorly?

Good news, everyone! It wasn’t a great summer everywhere…In fact, it was a terrible summer in many places (Syria, Iraq, a vast swath of West Africa, Missouri…), but it was an OK summer in New York — at least, compared to the way it looked to be shaping up in June, when gun violence was up 43 percent compared with the same time last year.

The latest CompStat report shows murder down more than 50 percent compared with last August, robberies down 28 percent, and grand larceny and felony assault down more than 10 percent each. Not bad!

In fact, all crimes (except grand larceny assault, up by 8 percent) are down year-to-date — murder by 13 percent, rape by 8 percent, robbery by 13 percent, felony assault by 0.1 percent, burglary by 5 percent, and grand larceny by 3 percent.

What’s more, the Daily News reports that the numbers of murders, shootings, robberies, and burglaries this August are the lowest recorded in any August since CompStat was implemented in 1994.

Most are down by pretty significant margins, too — murders decreased 35 percent from the previous August low of 40 back in 2007, robberies are down 14 percent from the previous August low of 1,678 in 2009, and burglaries are 10 percent lower than their historical nadir of 1,606 in August 2013. Shootings are down too, though just by a single digit (134, compared to 135 in 2012). Hooray!