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Bay Ridge High On Criminal Decline

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When the ball fell in Times Square roughly three weeks ago, cops at the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge had very few resolutions to make when it came to neighborhood policing. That was apparent at last Tuesday’s 68th Precinct Community Council meeting, where no one had an issue or a complaint to bring before Deputy Inspector William Aubry. The NYPD’s CompStat system can tell the rest of the story. According to end-of-the-year police statistics, crime in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights dropped by 1.2 percent for 2005, with 19 fewer felony crimes occurring in the neighborhood than in 2004. Cops celebrated a drastic drop in homicides, from four in 2004 to just one in 2005, as well as a 36 percent drop in rape reports and a 6.7 drop in burglaries. The number of felony assaults in the command, however, jumped by four percent, from 431 in 2004 to 437 last year. The number of robberies in the command dropped slightly, from 150 in 2004 to 148 last year. Police said that there was also a decline in car thefts, from 300 in 2004 to 291 last year, a drop of three percent. The only other felony crime category to see an increase was grand larcenies, or thefts of $1,000 or more. According to statistics, the number of grand larcenies, which include anything from identity and credit card theft to having your airbags ripped from your car, rose by 4.3 percent, from 487 crimes in 2004 to 508 last year. However, while the year-end crime appeared promising overall, crimes in the 68th Precinct leapt slightly in the end of December. When comparing CompStat reports ending in December 18 and year end numbers, statistics show that 11 robberies, 13 burglaries and 25 additional grand larcenies reported to the 65th Street police station. In order to help combat identity theft, Peter Killen, a former 68th Precinct police officer who is now affiliated with the Bay Ridge Consumer Federation enlightened meeting attendees of a new federal law that will help you keep an eye on your credit. FACT or the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, which has been in effect since last September ensures that one can get a copy of their credit report at no cost from each of the major credit gathering agencies, namely, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. The report includes one’s borrowing history, the types of credit one uses, the length of time the account has been open, whether the bills have been paid on time and how much debt you have. Killen recommended that one should get a credit history from each of these three agencies – one every four months – to determine if someone has stolen your identity. For more information, all one has to do is go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228.

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