Mayor Bloomberg held a news conference on Wednesday to announce that New York City crime was down in 2011, despite statistics saying that major crime in the city has slightly risen .04 percent.
In the rather perplexing announcement the mayor attributed the uptick to the inclusion of a new crime, strangulation, used to determine the city's overall crime rate. According to The New York Times, the adjustment in classification was made in 2010 and defined strangulation in the first-and-second degree to be felonies, with third-degree strangulation classified as a misdemeanor.
Bloomberg said that had the formula not been modified to include strangulation as a felony, overall crime would have dropped by 1.2 percent and 2011 would have been the 21st consecutive year in which major felonies had declined. But because of the change in law, felony assaults saw a significant 7.6 percent increase.
Despite tough fiscal times, New York's frontline public safety agencies - the NYPD and the FDNY - continue to keep our city safer than in any time in recorded history...Their successes are a major reason why our population is at a record high and growing, our life-expectancy has surged, an all-time high of more than 50 million people will have visited our city during 2011 and businesses continue to open and expand in our city.
Other positive statistics included a 5 percent decrease in homicides and the number of fatalities resulting from fires was the second lowest since 1916.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was also present during Wednesday's press conference. He said the mayor had accredited police work to the direct reason behind the "dramatic, Guinness Book of Records" reduction in crime over the past two decades.
Correction: This article previously and misleadingly called the Mayor's announcement "perplexing." It is not. if you count crime the same way in 2010 and 2011, crime is down in 2011.