New York City set a record as the clock struck midnight on Thursday — a full 10 days without a single murder.
The stretch is the most since crime statistics were recorded, beating a nine-day stretch in 2014 without murders, and signals an overall drop in violent crime for America’s largest city.
There are some caveats to the record. For one, New York City didn’t start counting days between homicides until 2003, and experts say the current streak is part of a greater trend of declining violence.
“There’s a lot of social forces going on,” said Daniel Nagin, a professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. “Crime rates, and homicides rates in particular, have declined very substantially since the early 1990s.”
While the entire nation is seeing violent crimes fall, New York City has a more dramatic drop, the Guardian noted.
“From 1994 to 2013, the most recent year for which the FBI has data, the US rate of crimes such as murder, rape and robbery fell by almost half, from about 713 violent crimes per 100,000 residents to 367 violent crimes per 100,000 resident.
Statistics released weekly by the NYPD show that crimes reported in the city have also fallen precipitously. Since 1993, murders reported are down 79.7%, robbery is down 82%, serious assaults are down 57.9%. Rape, a statistic complicated by victims’ reticence to report such attacks, is also down 52.7%.”
The last murder in New York City took place at 11:16 p.m. on February 1, when two gunman opened fire on a street in Harlem, killing 28-year-old Shadale Graham and wounding four others. The gunmen remain at large.
This is not the first stretch without violent crimes. In the last three years, New York City has three separate 24-hour periods without a single stabbing, shooting or slashing in any of the five boroughs. And in one day in November 2012, there were no violent crimes reported at all throughout the city.
But even as New York City has gone 10 days without a murder, overall there has been an 18 percent increase in homicides from the same point last year.