Crime continues to drop in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, down nearly 16 percent since the beginning of 2021, according to the NYPD.
According to CompStat, which tracks the seven major index crimes, overall crime in the 68th Precinct was down 15.79 percent year to date, as of Sept. 19, putting it well ahead of both the city at large and Brooklyn South, the patrol borough of which the 68th Precinct is a part.
In comparison, citywide crime has gone down .80 percent since the beginning of the year, and crime in Brooklyn South (which is comprised of 13 precincts) is down 4.35 percent since Jan. 1.
Giving the “favorable crime report is easy for me because of the hard work of the cops,” noted Capt. Andrew Tolson, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, during the precinct community council’s September meeting, which was held via Zoom because of the pandemic. But he also stressed that crime reduction is enhanced by the good relationship between cops and community. That, he said, “helps keep crime low.
“It’s extraordinary,” Tolson went on. “Everyone is on the same page. The community is very involved. Our success is your success, and we are all in this together.”
Overall, crime has gone down in the 68th Precinct in six of the seven index crimes: Murder, rape, robbery, felonious assault, burglary and grand larceny auto (GLA), and up in just one, grand larceny.
According to CompStat, murder in the precinct is down 100 percent. By this time in 2020, there had been three murders in the 68th Precinct; this year, so far, there are none.
The crime category that seen the second largest decrease is GLA, which has dropped, year over year, 44.3 percent. According to CompStat, in 2021 there have been 54 GLAS, so far in 2021; at this time last year, there had been 97.
Robbery is down 32 percent. At this point in 2020, there had been 50 robberies within precinct boundaries; so far in 2021, there have been 34.
Felonious assaults are also significantly down: There have been 64 so far this year, compared to 87 at this time last year, for a decrease of 26.4 percent.
Rape is down 23.1 percent, from 13 at this point in 2020 to 10, so far this year, and burglary is down 14.9 percent, year to date, with 86 reported within the precinct so far this year, compared to 101 at this time last year.
The single crime category that’s seen an increase, grand larceny, is up 4.2 percent. There have been 248 reported instances of grand larceny within the 68th Precinct since the beginning of 2021; last year, at this time, there had been 238.
Grand larceny is defined as a theft in which the property stolen is valued at a minimum of $1,000 and much of it occurs via phone scam. To combat this, Tolson has some advice for local residents:
“Nobody from the IRS, Social Security, Google, PayPal or the Police Department will call you and ask you to purchase gift cards,” he stressed. “If someone wants you to purchase gift cards to get your grandson out of jail, your radar should go up.
“If you don’t recognize the number, don’t pick up,” he added. “If it’s important, they’ll leave a message.”
Also falling into the category of grand larceny are thefts of property worth more than $1,000 from cars. “The best way to prevent it is locking your doors,” Tolson said. “Most of the individuals stealing these things are looking for easy targets. They go up and down the block pulling on door handles
In addition, he advised, “Be mindful of the property you leave in the car. I can’t tell you how many people leave their wallets in full view inside their vehicles.”
If you do that, locking your car doors may not be sufficient. “If they see something they want, they will smash the window,” Tolson warned.
The decrease in crime in the 68th Precinct was applauded by the local councilmember.
“Our very low local crime numbers are showing what we already knew: Our neighborhoods are some of the safest in all of New York City. Captain Tolson has done a tremendous job, and the men and women of the 68th Precinct go above and beyond every day to keep us safe,” noted Councilmember Justin Brannan.
“There are people who will tell you otherwise to serve their own political agendas,” he continued, “but the facts and the stats are clear: Crime here is down and heading even lower. At the end of the day, we are all partners in looking out for each other. Between our precinct, our neighbors and our community leaders, I couldn’t be prouder to play for the best home team in the five boroughs.”