NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City's overall crime rate could increase for the first time in decades, driven by alarming spikes in murder, rapes and robberies in many neighborhoods.
A 400 percent increase in murders in tony Williamsburg; a 400 percent increase in rapes in Sheepshead Bay and a 250 percent increase in killings in Washington Heights are all troublesome statistics that have Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police officials concerned.
"We worry every day about trying to make this city safer," Mayor Bloomberg said Monday.
Mayor Bloomberg Says NYC Is The Safest Big City In The Country. 1010 WINS' Stan Brooks Reports
Although crime has fallen an enviable 35 percent since Bloomberg took office, in the past year it has risen in 34 of the city's 76 precincts, and alarming spikes in some neighborhoods could lead to the first city-wide increase in decades.
According to the NYPD:
* The 100th Precinct in Rockaway, Queens has seen a 37 percent increase in crime
* In the 34th in Washington Heights it's up 24 percent
* In the 77th in Crown Heights it's up 21 percent.
* In the 113th in St. Albans, Queens it has spiked 17 percent
* In the 76th in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn it's up 11 percent
"I'm not worried about a crime wave. Once you get down to a certain level you probably can't statistically get lower than a certain amount, so each year some will be up and some will be down but the police commissioner's working full time on it," Bloomberg said.
In Crown Heights, which has seen an increase in robberies, rapes, burglary and grand larceny, people are talking about it.
"It is getting worse," one resident said.
"Since the beginning of the year I heard about a couple of shootings but one big one was over there," resident Maverick Dunkley said, motioning.
"Quite recently in my apartment building I know that they were looking for an individual. Police officers came to the building looking for someone. It was a large number of police officers about 10 to 20," another resident said.
"I'm very concerned about it. The mayor needs to do something about it," said Abdul Hamiyd, who works in the area.
Some in Crown Heights think the increase is due to the economy because there are lots of people unemployed right now, young people who need jobs. The mayor, however, disputed that claim.
Bloomberg Says The Numbers Go Up And Down In Some Precincts. WCBS 880's Rich Lamb Reports.
"People who commit crimes don't read the Wall Street Journal," Bloomberg said.
The NYPD is fighting crime with 6,000 fewer cops since the mayor took office. Still, it's launched a "get tough" policy with precinct commanders.
The commander of the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights, for example, was removed recently because crime shot up so much on his watch.
What do you think should be done to combat this problem? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.
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