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Violent crime in N.Y. keeps going downward

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NEW YORK (AP) — Violent crime in New York City dropped 12.3 percent from last year, continuing a decadelong downward trend.

Through Dec. 30, New York Police Department statistics showed that all violent crime measured by the department — murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft — declined when compared with the same period last year.

"The NYPD has defied the skeptics who doubted whether the city could continue to build upon the dramatic reductions in crime," outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Monday.

Murders dropped 4.6 percent. Through Dec. 30, there were 640 murders in the city, compared with 672 for all of 2000 and 2,262 in 1990 — the all-time high.

The city had not seen homicide figures below 700 since the 1960s.

The biggest drop was in auto thefts, down 16.7 percent.