The NYPD announced Tuesday it was going to change the way it classifies slashings and stabbings as part of an initiative to curb the category of violent crime, which has spiked more than 20 percent in New York City this year.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said that under the initiative, dubbed "Operation Cutting Edge," the NYPD would group crimes where a person was cut or stabbed in its own category on reports, rather than grouping them with other so-called felonious assaults.
Bratton, Mayor de Blasio and other top NYPD officials said Tuesday that the move, along with plans to target nightclubs and after-hours clubs where slashings and stabbings occur most frequently, should help tamp down on the crime in a way similar to how the NYPD's curbed gun crime in the 1990s.
"The NYPD does not rest on its laurels," de Blasio said. "When we see a new problem, we go after it and we apply new approaches."
NYPD officials said that there have been 916 slashings and stabbings so far in 2016 -- an increase of 22 percent compared with the same period in 2015. Domestic violence has been the most common cause of the crime, with 277 instances.
The move comes amid increased scrutiny to slashings and stabbings, particularly in the city's subway, even though the NYPD say that less than 2 percent of the crimes have been committed in the mass transit system. Stabbings at homeless shelters -- which have also seen increased attention -- account for another 2 percent of stabbings in 2016.
NYPD Chief of Department Jame O'Neill says that it will continue to focus on shelters and the subway system so that people will feel safe.
"It’s absolutely essential that everyone in this city feels safe, as well as that they are safe," he said.