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The number of murders in New York City, the largest city in the country, has hit a 50-year low, police and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.
NY Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said that there were 414 murders in the city through Dec. 21, according to Bloomberg. That easily beats the previous record, which was 471 murders in 2009.
Browne noted that unless there is a spike during the last week of 2012, it will be the lowest total in 50 years, based on reliable records available.
“We’re going to try to keep it low and not view it as an aberration,” he said.
The number of murders was also down 19 percent from last year, reports PIX 11.
New York also had a record low number of shootings in 2012, with 1,353 during the year, down 8.5 percent from 2011. The previous record was set in 2009 with 1,420 shootings.
“The fact that the safest big city in America is safer than ever is a testament to the hard work and determination of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day – and it also reflects our commitment to doing everything possible to stop gun violence,” Bloomberg said in a statement Friday.
According to the AFP, today’s announcement comes a week after Bloomberg announced that the prison population also dropped a third from 2001 to 2011.
Browne said that the drop was due to a focus on violent crimes and guns. Bloomberg has been an advocate for strict gun regulations, noting that the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy was not an “isolated event. It is a national tragedy and it demands a national response.”