29 Nov 2012

Kapow! No crime in New York for a day

4:04 pm on 29 November 2012

Criminals took the day off in New York on Monday, as the city of eight million people passed a day without a single report of violent crime.

Not a single murder, shooting, stabbing or other incident of violent crime was reported for a whole day, the ABC reports.

New York Police Department chief Paul Browne says it was the first time in memory the city's police force had experienced such a peaceful day.

He says the city's murder rate is now on target to hit its lowest point since 1960.

While crime is up 3% overall, murder is down 23% over the past year.

Experts were astounded by the day without violent crime being reported.

"In a city of 8 million people, this is extremely rare," says Tom Repetto, author of American Police, 1949-2012.

There have been 366 murders so far this year in New York, compared with 472 at this time last year, the NYPD said.

By comparison, Chicago, Illinois - a city of about 2,707,000 people that has been plagued by gang violence in 2012 - has registered 462 murders so far this year, according to the Chicago Police Department.

In Philadelphia, a city of about 1,536,000 people, there have been 301 murders so far this year, the exact same number as this time last year, the Philadelphia Police Department reports.

Repetto attributes New York's success to "pro-active" police department tactics, including its controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

While critics say the dramatic increase in stops has not led to a similar rise in gun seizures, police officials say proactive tactics have made criminals think twice about taking their guns out on the street.