While many New Yorkers believe that the city is becoming more dangerous, statistics released this weekend once again show that the crime rate is actually down. According to the NYPD, 2015 saw an overall 2 percent decrease in murder, rape, robbery, serious assault, burglary, grand larceny, and car theft compared to 2014, which itself was a record low year for violent crime. "As we end this year, the City of New York will record the safest year in its history, its modern history, as it relates to crime," said police chief Bill Bratton earlier this month.
At the same time, arrests recorded by officers fell steeply, to 333,115 through Dec. 20, down 13 percent from 384,770 over the same period the year before. The number of criminal summonses dropped to 292,372 from 358,948.
There was a small rise in murders, to 339 as of Dec. 25, already more than last year's historic low of 333. Still, the number is well below the 536 murders recorded five years ago.
And despite an early increase in gun violence, the final tally of shootings for the year is set to come in slightly lower than last year's figure.
Also of note: arrests for pot possession declined for the third year in a row, from 27,476 in 2014 to 17,362 in 2015. That's a far cry from 2011, when 50,700 people were arrested for having small amounts of weed, but it still sounds like a lot, given New York's now not-so-new marijuana policy.
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New York City sights, landmarks
NYC's crime rate hits a new record low
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A yellow rose stands wedged into the name of Donald Simmons at the South Pool of the National September 11 Memorial, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in New York. Volunteers placed yellow roses into the names of veterans who died at the World Trade Center on September 11 as part of a five-day Salute to Service in recognition of Veterans Day. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
The Empire State Building in New York City, Manhattan.
New York City, Manhattan, New York, United States, North America
New York City, New York, United States, North America
statue at rockefeller centre, fifth avenue, new york, usa
ABC NEWS - 9/24/15 - Coverage of Pope Francis' visit to New York City to celebrate Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral which will air on all ABC News programs and platforms. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
Ice skaters having fun in New York Central Park in fall
View of the midtown Manhattan skyline and Central Park in New York City.
View of Citi Field during the Philadelphia Phillies versus the New York Mets baseball game on Monday, May 28, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
This photo shows an ariel view of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx boro of New York, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
An ariel view of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The George Washington bridge spans the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
People walk by the Museum of Modern Art store, in New York, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The Metlife building looms above Grand Central Terminal on Friday, July 5, 2013 in New York. It opened in 1963 as the Pan Am Building, then headquarters of Pan American World Airways, before it was sold to Metlife in 1981. Completed in 1913 and celebrating its 100th birthday, Grand Central was hailed as the largest and greatest railway terminal in the world. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)