Crime Drops for Eleventh Straight Year Under Governor Pataki

Date: June 6, 2005


Overall Crime Drops 3.6% in New York; Violent Crime Drops 5.9%; Murder in IMPACT Communities Drops 15%; Crime Drops in Every Category

Governor George E. Pataki today released New York State crime statistics showing a drop in crime for the eleventh consecutive year in the State, which continues to outpace the nation in reducing crime. The preliminary 2004 statistics show New York with an estimated 5.9 % decline in violent crimes, a 5.1% decline in aggravated assaults and a 3.1% drop in property crime. This exceeds the drop in crime for the rest of the nation, which only had a 1.7% drop in violent crimes, an 0.8% decline in aggravated assaults and a 1.8% drop in property crime.

For more than a decade, New York State has outpaced the nation in the rate of crime reduction. With an overall decline in crime of 47% since 1994, more than 400,000 fewer crimes occurred last year as compared with 11 years earlier.

"These numbers show that crime in New York dropped in every category in 2004, making our State an even safer place for New York's families," Governor Pataki said. "Once again, New York's tough, yet smart criminal justice policies have made New York a safer place to live, work and visit. For the past eleven years, crime has continued to drop in our State and violent crime has been cut by more than half. Ten years ago, New York was the sixth most dangerous state. Today, New York is the seventh safest, and the safest large state in the nation."

"While these results are impressive, we are in a position where we can and must do more. We know that we save lives when we enact legislation that gives our law enforcement officials the tools they need to enforce the law to the fullest extent," the Governor said. "I have repeatedly called for new legislation to expand the DNA databank to include all convicted criminals, toughen the penalties for gun trafficking, provide greater protection from sexual predators by placing all sex offenders on the Internet and eliminating the statute of limitations for rape. We must once again push to enact these life-saving measures."

In individual categories, New York State had declines of 7.1% for burglary, 1.2% for larceny and 9.9% for motor vehicle theft. In contrast, the rest of the nation experienced only a 1.4% decrease for burglary, a 1.8% decrease for larceny and only a 2.6% decrease in motor vehicle theft.

New York State Director of Criminal Justice Chauncey G. Parker said, "Under Governor Pataki's leadership, New York State has continued its historic reduction in crime. By enacting the Governor's critical crime-fighting legislation, and supporting initiatives like Operation IMPACT and New York's 100 Most Wanted program, we can continue to drive crime down even further in our State."

In the IMPACT jurisdictions, violent crime has decreased by 4.0%, murder has declined by 15.2%, robberies have declined by 10.1% and rape has declined by 1.2%. In addition, burglary has declined by 8.1%, while aggravated assaults have increased by 1.0%. And, in 2004, Rochester -- the first IMPACT site launched and the first city in New York State to implement Ceasefire, an innovative crime reduction strategy -- had one-third fewer murders, including a 70% drop in murders of the most at-risk portion of the population, young African American men.

Governor Pataki first announced Operation IMPACT in his 2004 State of the State Address to target the counties that account for 80% of the crime outside of New York City. The goal of Operation IMPACT is to reduce violent crime in targeted jurisdictions. The IMPACT counties were selected based on the three-year average volume of reported major violent and property crimes known as UCR Part 1 offenses (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft).

In the 2005 State of the State Address, Governor Pataki expanded Operation IMPACT to enhance operations in the original 15 IMPACT counties, to bring new IMPACT operations and resources to other parts of the State designated as crime "hot spots" through crime mapping and analysis, and to make an additional 100 State Troopers available for IMPACT operations (bringing the total commitment of State Troopers to 400). Also, the Governor developed a partnership with John Jay College-- which is working in concert with the Rochester Institute of Technology -- to bring the Ceasefire initiative to other key IMPACT sites across the State. In addition, UAlbany will be providing crime analysts to share with IMPACT sites powerful new approaches to crime prevention and control.