NEW YORK — New York City saw fewer overall crimes in October, including a decrease in murders and shootings, but police are concerned about the rise in hate crimes and rapes, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said at a news conference Wednesday.
There has been an increase in bias incidents, specifically against the Jewish community, in recent weeks, according to O'Neill.
The commissioner spoke specifically about a man facing federal charges after allegedly shooting and killing 11 people at a synagogue in Pennsylvania last month.
"If you know of anyone harboring similar thoughts, or someone who talks about carrying out anything remotely connected to violence against a specific group of people, the NYPD wants to know about it, we need to know about it," O'Neill said.
There were 309 reported hate crimes in October, with 159 being committed against Jewish people, according to NYPD statistics. Among the reported crimes, several local synagogues were vandalized.
Forty hate crimes committed against people over their sexual orientation were reported, and 37 against black people were reported, according to the statistics.
New Yorkers should and will continue to be resilient and celebrate diversity, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“Last month was a difficult time for our city as forces of hatred tried to divide and terrorize us, " de Blasio said. “We are the safest big city in the country because the NYPD is as diverse as all 8.5 million New Yorkers. I want to thank all our officers for working with every community to fight crime and protect us from terror.”
In addition the to uptick in hate crimes, 160 rapes were reported in October, compared to 152 in the same month in 2017, statistics show.
Overall crimes were down 1.4 percent compared to October 2017, representing 1,149 fewer victims, statistics show.
Murders are down 41.4 percent and shootings are down 6.8 percent when compared to last October.
In the first time in 25 years, there were zero shootings over a three-day weekend, Oct. 12-14, police noted.
Watch the crime states news conference: