01/23/2013 01:00 pm ET

Bronx Murder Rate Lower Than Chicago's, Philadelphia's, And Boston's In 2012

The Bronx closed out 2012 with some good news on the crime front, as the borough saw a 23 percent decline in its murder rate over the course of the past year with 112 murders, down from 148 in 2011.

The encouraging numbers parallelled an overall trend throughout the city with the NYPD reporting the number of homicides across the five boroughs reaching its lowest level in over half a century.

"We are fed up with the negative stereotypes and the erroneous images about who we are as a Borough," Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said in a statement released Tuesday. "The Bronx is a different place from when I was a teenager in the 80's and 90's, and hopefully we can make 2013 safer. This is a good first step, but we have much more work ahead of us."

The press release also revealed the Bronx's murder rate is now lower than that of Chicago, Newark, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and Boston.

However, unlike the NYPD who attributed 2012's record numbers to the department's stop-and-frisk program, Diaz Jr.'s statement made no correlation to the controversial practice.

In fact, in the past, the borough president has echoed civil liberties groups who deride stop-and-frisks for unfairly targeting blacks and Latinos without reasonable suspicion.

"I myself have been stopped-and-frisked by police officers for no reason, both in my youth and during my time serving in the New York State Assembly," Diaz Jr. said in joint release with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in May. "I know firsthand just how arbitrary and unfair this policy is. It is time for this practice to be reformed.”

The NYPD's insistence that stop-and-frisks contributed to 2012's decline has also been criticized as flawed, as the number of stops performed by police actually dropped a significant 34 percent in the second quarter of the year due to mounting pressure from public officials and civil liberties groups.

As for the Bronx, the borough's commitment to rehabilitate its image appears to be paying off.

[VIA Gothamist]



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