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NYC posts fewest homicides in 2007 in 44 years
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08:16, January 02, 2008

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New York City ended the year 2007 with 494 homicides, the lowest number since 1963, initial statistics made public on Tuesday show.

The 2007 tally represents a 17 percent drop from 2006, making it 7th consecutive year for the largest U.S. city to see its murder rates decline.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed Monday night to make the city even safer in 2008. "You've got to keep going. You can't rest on your laurels. 2008, I hope we can continue all the trends," he told revelers on Times Square.

The city's police commissioner, Ray Kelly, sent a letter to all members of the police force, thanking them for their "great work."

"Two-thousand-and-seven was another remarkable year in which your performance was recognized the world over for making New York City so safe. Yes, you set crime fighting records. But more importantly you saved lives, often at risk to your own," local TV station NY1 quoted Kelly as saying in the letter.

In 1963, the year when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, New York recorded 2,245 homicides, earning it the moniker of the "murder capital" of the United States. Many of the killings were committed with knives.

The improvement was attributed to rigorous enforcement by the police and prosecutors, and to demographic changes that have led to fresh investment and stability to some neighborhoods, The New York Times reported, quoting Thomas Reppetto, a law enforcement historian.

Source: Xinhua

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