NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York City recorded its fewest number of shootings last year and narrowly missed setting a record low for homicides.
According to data released Wednesday, there were 335 homicides in 2016. The city's record low was 333 in 2014. Police officials say there were 998 shooting incidents in 2016, and overall crime was also at its lowest.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was the first time the city has been below 1,000 shootings "in the modern era for a single year in this city."
"To give you perspective, just 25 years ago there were over 5,000 shootings in a single year in this city," he said. "Look how far we've come."
De Blasio said murders dropped five percent, robberies were down nine percent and shootings were down 12 percent, WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported.
Crime continues to drop even as police make fewer arrests for low-level infractions now handled through tickets. They've also reduced use of the stop and frisk technique.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the numbers "are not by accident.''
"We're truly focus on people committing the crime. That's how we're keeping people safe year after year," he said.
The mayor and police commissioner attributed the success to precision and neighborhood policing strategies. They said they're targeting the right people with the help and support of communities.
Modern record keeping began in the late 1990s with the creation of the department's crime-tracking data system.
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