Story highlights

New York City murder numbers at record low

Shootings at lowest levels in 18 years

Officials credit police, efforts to reduce gun violence

New York CNN —  

Murders in New York City are on pace to be the lowest on record, reaffirming Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s assertion that the Big Apple is the “safest big city in America.”

As of Friday, four days before the new year, New York had notched 414 homicides in 2012, according to Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

The previous low was 471 in 2009, they announced. The high for a single year was 2,245 homicides in 1990.

Comparable murder statistics date back to 1963, when the city recorded 548 homicides.

According to a statement, 2012 also has seen a record low number of shootings: 1,353 as of December 23. Those records began in 1994.

“The fact that the safest big city in America is safer than ever is a testament to the hard work and determination of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day – and it also reflects our commitment to doing everything possible to stop gun violence,” Bloomberg said.

Crime prevention includes annually taking 8,000 guns, 800 of them illegal, from people who are stopped, Kelly said.

The total crime rate is up “a touch” because of thefts of Apple products, Bloomberg said in a radio interview.