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Rise in Cambria Hts. crime renews call for second pct.

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Kevin Jemmott, president of the Cambria Heights Civic Association, said the violence has to end in remarks at the group's general membership meeting last Thursday. The problem reached critical mass after a man was shot dead May 10 on 223rd Street and 118th Avenue when two men asked him for money and he said that all he has was $10. He gave the men the money but was still shot and killed."These people are shooting their guns with no fear," Jemmott said in a phone interview. "As more and more shootings happen, (residents') fears are increasing."When Mayor Michael Bloomberg was invited to an association meeting in November, he mentioned that crime in the city was trending downward. Jemmott said that since the mayor left Cambria Heights, there have been seven shootings in the area. At a town hall meeting in March attended by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Jemmott cited crime statistics for the 105th Precinct documented by the Police Department, which showed that while the murder rate was down 62 percent from last year, overall crime in the precinct was up 8 percent. Rape has risen 300 percent and robbery have jumped by 40 percent since last year, according to Jemmottt's calculations.Jemmott said Kelly asked him where he got those numbers instead of acknowledging if they were correct or not. Jemmott said he has invited the commissioner to an association meeting, but Kelly has not gotten back to him."I think he's a little nervous because we have a reputation for holding people accountable," Jemmott said. One of the problems with the (NYPD) crime statistics, according to Jemmott, is that not every instance of crime is being documented by the police."Fired shots don't get recorded," Jemmott said, if they don't hit anyone.Jemmott said that while the area encompassing the 105th is the city's second-largest precinct geographically, his request for an additional precinct has been shut down. Staten Island is home to the largest precinct in terms of area, but the population is smaller than the 105th's jurisdiction. While Jemmott acknowledged that officers at the 105th Precinct are doing a fine job, he said the recent spike in crime underscored the importance of adding another precinct."The community wants to work with the Police Department. We have a good relationship. Capt. Stephen O'Brien of the 105th is great, but this is above him."Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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