June 22, 2015 By Michael Florio
Crime is on the decline this year in Jackson Heights.
Captain Brian Hennessy of the 115 Precinct spoke last week at Community Board 3’s monthly meeting and said that crime is down 9 percent compared to the same period last year.
Hennessy said the decline was largely driven by better gang enforcement.
In 2014, he said, three of the six murders involved people in gangs. Furthermore, there were seven shootings with 10 victims last year–five of those shootings and eight of the victims involved gang members.
“Gang enforcement has been our main focus this year and a lot of our search warrants have been targeting gang members and drug locations within the command,” Hennessy said at the meeting.
Hennessy said this enforcement has made a real difference.
The precinct has yet to have a murder this year, compared to two at this time in 2014. However, it has had three shootings, with three different victims, compared to one shooting and one victim at this time last year.
The precinct saw a decrease in a number of other crimes as well.
Burglaries have seen the biggest decrease, with the number of incidents dropping from 152 at this time last year to just 107 so far, a decrease of nearly 30 percent.
The decline is the result of a precipitous fall in the number of residential burglaries; there have been 60 fewer residential burglaries reported this year, compared to the same period a year ago.
However, there has been a slight uptick in commercial burglaries, with businesses located on Junction Blvd, Northern Blvd and Astoria Blvd being targeted.
The number of grand larcenies has undergone a modest drop. There have been 282 incidents reported so far this year compared to 295 for the same period last year.
The number of robberies so far this year is exactly the same as it was for the same period in 2014.
There have been 18 rapes reported this year—up from 17 for the same period last year. In 17 out of the 18 incidents the perpetrator knew the victim.
Hennessy also said that residents can expect a stronger police presence on the ground when the new recruits from the police academy arrive. He said that there will be an officer stationed at Diversity Plaza once again.
“We lost 20 officers either to transfers or retirement over the last eight months,” Hennessy said.
“With these new, young officers now coming in we will once again be able to staff Diversity Plaza along with Junction Blvd and 82nd Street,” he added. “We look forward to this.”