James Forsyth

The lessons of New York’s falling murder rate

The lessons of New York's falling murder rate
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New York’s ever falling murder rate is one of the wonders of modern urban policy. It is proof that decisive political leadership can arrest and then reverse decline that many had considered inevitable.

This year, as The New York Times reports, New York is scheduled to record the lowest number of murders since records began in 1962. In 1990 there were 2,245 murders in 2009, to date, there have been 461.

Now, it has often been rightly said that Britain should learn from the success of broken windows policing. But reading the piece in the Times today, I was struck by the fact that the murder rate is still falling despite the NYPD having to reduce its number of officers by 6,000 since 2001. Much of this success is due to the NYPD using technology to help best deploy its resources.

The NYPD's work is a consummate example of how public services can do more for less and one that Britain’s political parties would be well advised to learn from.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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