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Good News In Tough Times: Crime on LI Dips…and Optimism Rises

In a time when bad news seems to permeate the airwaves on a regular basis, last week’s release of Long Island’s latest crime statistics was welcome news. According to statistics just released from the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, both Nassau and Suffolk Counties have seen double digit decreases in crime so far in 2011 – with Long Island showing one of the state’s most significant declines in crime so far this year.

What’s behind the recent dip in the crime rate here on Long Island? With our current economy and high unemployment, the timing of this decline in crime seems even more surprising to some — if not many – Long Islanders. However, upon looking at some of the recent anti-crime programs put into place, many throughout both Nassau and Suffolk counties are optimistic that these programs have not only had a dramatic impact on crime so far … but that they will continue to make a difference as we work to further decrease crime here on Long Island.

Again, although nobody knows for sure if the decline in crime so far this year is merely coincidental or a trend, new initiatives such as prescription drug drops, ShotSpotter technology, gun buybacks and NassStat are believed by many to have had a positive impact on the recent dip in crime. These programs, combined with law enforcement’s continuing commitment to, as Nassau DA Kathleen Rice has noted, “being as smart on crime as we are tough” seem to be working: in Suffolk, major crime (which includes violent and property crimes) is down 10.1 percent overall; in Nassau County, the major crime rate is down 13.8 percent, property crime declined 14.8 percent and violent crime dropped 5.7 percent. And, as Kathleen Rice went on to note in an email commenting on these new statistics, “Despite continued high unemployment, violent crime continues to drop.”

Whether the recent drop in crime is due to increased police presence on the streets, some (or all) of the new anti-crime initiatives put in place (particularly ones where people can participate anonymously, without any questions asked, such as the gun buyback and prescription drop box programs), or other reasons, it’s comforting to know that Long Island crime rates are down, especially given the tough economic environment. Hopefully, they will continue to further decline, despite the continuing stressors of our times. Meanwhile, should you or a loved one ever be accused of a crime on Long Island, we stand ready to assist, 24/7, at 516-294-0300.

To read the full report of the latest statistics, and for Newsday’s coverage of the dip in crime so far in 2011, click here: https://www.newsday.com/long-island/double-digit-drop-in-major-crime-on-li-1.3078272

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