Violent crime in the City of Buffalo declined by nearly 20 percent in the first half of 2007, compared with 2006, according to figures released this week by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Included is a major reduction in the number of homicides, which have dropped by more than one-third from the same period in 2006. So far this year, there have been 39 homicides in Buffalo, compared with 59 as of this date in 2006. In 2005, there were 45 homicides by today’s date.
Across the eight counties of Western New York, the statistics showed similar or even greater reductions, with the exception of two counties that showed increases.
In the City of Buffalo, besides homicide, the number of rapes has decreased by 11 percent, robberies are down by nearly 22 percent, and aggravated assault dropped by 18 percent. Property crimes, however, showed an increase of more than 6 percent.
Top brass in the Buffalo Police Department say the figures aren’t news to them.
“We weren’t surprised at all because we’ve been looking at it,” said Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson. “We’ve been monitoring the numbers. We meet every two weeks to review them.”
Violent crime declined by about 18 percent in Erie County.
According to the state’s figures, 1,630 of the 2,003 recorded violent crimes in Erie County occurred in the city.