New York Goes Record 12 Days Without Murder

Published: 16th February 2015 11:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2015 11:06 AM   |  A+A-


A file photo of New York City (AP)

NEW YORK: A murder in New York's sprawling metropolis of more than eight million people is not so very unusual.

But when Eric Roman, 28, succumbed to his injuries at the weekend after being shot in the borough of Queens on Friday, it marked the end of a record-breaking 12 days without a homicide in the city.

It was the longest stretch since police began tracking such data in 1994.

Police suspect that February's plunging temperatures might be the reason for the relative peace.

It is a far cry from the 1980s and early 1990s when the city had the reputation of being one of the most dangerous in the world. A series of factors is cited in the turnaround: the end of a crack epidemic, tough police enforcement in a strategy known as "broken windows policing" and even a decline in lead poisoning of children or the legalisation of abortion.

Last year, there were 328 murders in New York City, the lowest since records began. The highest was 2,245 in 1990.

While there may be policy reasons for the overall trend, shorter downturns may have a more prosaic cause - bitterly cold weather that is keeping even hardened criminals at home.

There was a similar streak at the same time in 2014, when the city also managed 10 days without a homicide.

This time the East Coast's cold snap shows no sign of ending. The weekend brought frostbite warnings as gusting winds combined with low temperatures across the north-east of the country to make -16C (3F) feel like -31C (-23F).

Weather forecasters said the result was the coldest windchill factor since 1993, when the "Storm of the Century" killed more than 300 people and even brought snow to Florida.

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