Crime is up in New York City this year compared to 2013, though city police commissioner Bill Bratton is chalking it up to random fluctuations and not due to the city’s move away from its “stop-and-frisk” policy.
“Crime is going to spike from time to time, that’s just the reality,” Bratton said in a press conference Tuesday, DNA Info reports.
The city had 381 shootings through May 25, compared to 347 through the same date last year, according to DNA Info.
The spike is being driven by shootings in a few neighborhoods. Shootings in a precinct near the Bronx have nearly doubled to 23 compared to last year.
East New York, the neighboring precinct, has seen a 38 percent increase in shootings compared to 2013.
At Tuesday’s press conference, which was held to unveil the use of a new drug to combat heroin overdoses, Bratton said that the increase was not due to winding down “stop-and-frisk.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has pushed to rein in the practice during his short stint as mayor.
While Bratton helped implement the crime-fighting policy during his first term as NYPD police commissioner between 1994 and 1996, he has been critical of how former city leaders put it into practice.
“The commissioner and the former mayor did a great job in the sense of keeping the community safe, keeping crime down, but one of the tools used to do that, I believe, was used too extensively,” Bratton said in an interview earlier this year, referencing former mayor Michael Bloomberg and former police commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Luckily, the recent increase in the number of shootings has not translated into more murders. The number is down compared to this time last year.