While homicides are down all over the city from this time last year, there's been a small increase in murders in Brooklyn, the Wall Street Journal reports
. The borough is policed in two sections: Brooklyn North, which includes Brooklyn Heights to East New York and everything north, and Brooklyn South, which includes the rest of the borough, from Boerum Hill to Canarsie and everything south. It's in the latter that homicides have risen, the only patrol in the city to do so: murders are up 23 percent from this time in 2012—37 compared to 30. In contrast, Brooklyn North has had 39 murders so far this year, down from 57 at this point in 2012. The Bronx is at 38 compared to 58. Many are downplaying the significance because the numbers were so low last year. "If you're looking to get No. 1 again, you're looking for impossibilities. You can only go backwards from one," one police source told
the paper. "The police are working against whatever success they had in the past. You're fighting against your own numbers," a professor at John Jay said
. Granted, the difference is seven, which seems small (though, you know, those are seven people who are dead forever). And, though murders are up, shootings are actually down. But given that the number of homicides is down
by as much as 20
in every other region of the city, the rise seems significant, as well. Certain neighborhoods have had larger increases than others.
The Main Drivers
In the 71st precinct, which covers part of Crown Heights and Flatbush, there were two murders at this point in 2012; this year, there have been six. "Two were the result of disputes, one was gang-related, one occurred during a robbery and the motives for two others are unknown," the Journal reported
. Coney Island has also contributed to the rise; there have been five murders in the 60th precinct so far this year (compared to two last year), three of them in public housing, leading local politicians to call for an increased presence of community affairs officers there. (Still, homicides in Coney Island are way down from historic highs: in all of 1990, there were 21 murders there.)
The Secondary Drivers
Murders in the rest of the borough are either the same as last year or just slightly up or down, according to our review of police data. Murders are up by one compared to last year in Bensonhurst (two vs. one), Marine Park (six vs. five), Borough Park/Midwood/Kensington (one vs. zero) and Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace (two vs. one). So, it's not exactly cause for alarm, but still.
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