By NY Daily News
New York, NY – Crime is down so far this year across the city, but some Brooklyn neighborhoods have seen a surge of shootings.
There were 240 gunshot victims in South Brooklyn through early October, up from 179 during the same period in 2008 because of a spike in violence in Crown Heights, East Flatbush and Coney Island.
“You hear gun shots all night long around here,” said Dwayne Knowles, 55, of Coney Island. “Heck yes, it’s getting worse.”
According to crime statistics for Coney Island’s 60th Precinct through early October, there were 19 shootings , up from 8 during the same period in 2008. Those incidents wounded 22 people, a jump from 10.
Murders are up there too, doubling to 10. Yet overall crime fell by 16.3% in the 60th precinct because of drops in robberies and burglaries. The problem is similar in East Flatbush’s 67th Precinct, where 77 people have been shot so far in 2009, up from 59 a year ago.
“There’s been a lot of shootings going on,” said Erasmus Neighborhood Houses executive director Yves Vilus. “There are too many guns on the streets.”
The rise in gunfire – which many people said came from gangs and drug dealers – has conjured fears that the city could slip back to the crime-plagued 1980s.
“Perception is what’s real,” said State Sen. Eric Adams (D-Crown Heights), who held two town hall meetings last week about the increase in shootings from 24 victims in 2008 to 35 this year.
“The police can easily point to a decrease in some predatory crimes, but what troubles people are the overt indicators of violence returning, such as drug dealing and graffiti,” said Adams.
A spokesman for the NYPD stressed that even though shootings are up, crime is down even in the most dangerous neighborhoods.
Citywide, crime is down by 11.4%. Murders dropped to 354 through early October from 410 last year.
But parts of Brooklyn are defying other crime-fighting gains made this year.
The police also reported a 17.4% reduction in robberies and a 9.9% drop in burglaries for the entire city.
But in Williamsburg’s 90th Precinct and Bushwick’s 83rd Precinct, burglaries are on the upswing. The two neighborhoods lead the city in break-ins this year. Williamsburg reported 355 this year, up from 292 in 2008 and Bushwick has had 356, up from 333.
Residents think thieves have set their sights on newcomers in the rapidly gentrifying areas.
“There are a lot of easy picks around here,” said Phil DePaolo, 46, a Williamsburg activist. “People move here under the impression that it’s the safest big city in the country. They leave their doors and windows open, but this is still Brooklyn.”