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Mayor’s annual city report charts felony crime increase

Major felony crime is up by 4 percent in this year's report on city agencies overseen by Mayor Michael Bloomberg (l.), including the NYPD, helmed by Commissioner Ray Kelly (r.).
TimesLedger Newspapers

An assessment of city agencies was released last week showing positive shifts, like shorter Fire Department response times, but ground lost in other areas such as major felony crime, which rose by 4 percent.

The Mayor’s Management Report, which is released annually, details numerous measurements of 44 agencies covering the fiscal year from July 2001 through June 2012.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg focused on the positive in a news release, indicating that nearly 60 percent of critical indicators held steady or were better this year compared to last.

“New York City services and operations have consistently improved over the last 10 years even through difficult economic cycles that required cost-cutting measures because of our commitment to finding innovative ways to deliver better services at a lower cost,” the mayor said in a statement.

And Bloomberg had several feathers in his cap after the report was released.

FDNY response times decreased by two seconds to four minutes one second, according to the report. In the education field, math and reading scores of high school students rose by 3 percent, the report said.

One of Bloomberg’s hallmarks has been the promotion of tourism in the city, and the report indicated that the number of visitors increased yet again to more than 50 million. The number of adults who consume one or more sugary beverages dropped slightly — less than 1 percent — to 29.9 percent, while the number has dropped from about 36 percent in 2008, according to the report.

But not all the numbers were an improvement over last year.

Average police response time increase by nearly 45 seconds, and major felony crime rose 4 percent since last year, according to the report, but even within that category there were positive and negative shifts.

For instance, there were 474 murders over the last year compared with 526 the year before, a decrease of nearly 10 percent.

The number of auto thefts also dropped. While the number of forcible rapes decreased slightly, the numbers over a five-year period indicate an upward trend, according to the report.

Other crime indicators rose, including burglary, robbery, assault and grand larceny, as did the number of felonies committed on the city’s public transportation network and in its housing projects.

But in other areas the city saw significant gains.

The mild winter brought good news for the city Sanitation Department. The department paid $7.8 million in snow overtime last year compared with $62.4 million the year before when the city was hit by a blizzard. In fact, the inches of snow — nearly 7 this year compared with 61 the year before — corresponded almost exactly to the amount of overtime pay.

The number of streets rated clean also jumped up a percentage point to 95.5 percent, according to the report.

As far as the cleanliness of the city’s parks is concerned, 88 percent were rated acceptable this year, the same number as last year.

The percentage of New Yorkers who visited an emergency room, for both adults and children, increased this year.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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