NYC Murders Slightly Down in 2011 Over 2010

Rapes, felony assaults and misdemeanor assaults are all up.

New York City is on pace to have slightly fewer murders in 2011 than in 2010, but more than the record low reached in 2009.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there had been 496 murders as of Thursday morning.

With nine days left to go in the year, the number is likely to fall somewhere between 2007's 496 and the next-highest total of 523 the following year.

The city achieved its all-time low of 471 in 2009, which was the fewest number of homicides since comparable record-keeping began in 1962.

If the city stays on its predicted pace, 2011's total would be the third-lowest of all time.

Other crime indicators are up, including felony assaults, rapes and misdemeanor sex crimes.

As of Dec. 11, the latest date statistics on these crimes were available, there had been 1,361 rapes, up 3 percent from 2010's 1,321. Felony assaults were up 8 percent from 2010 -- 17,487 compared with 16,271 -- and misdemeanor sex assaults were up 4 percent, with 2,977 in 2011 over 2,877 in 2010.

A number of high-profile sex crimes took place in 2011, including a series of gropings of women in Brooklyn. No suspect has been charged in most of the incidents.

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