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What we can learn from New York City's dramatic crime drop

Flodigrip's World/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

File: The New York City skyline.

Crime is down all over the United States, including in LA, but nowhere has seen a plummet like New York's. In a decade, New York City's violent crime rate dropped 30 percent. In the rest of the country, it fell 5 percent. The homicide rate is now 18 percent of what is was in 1990; the burglary rate is now 16 percent of what it was in 1990. How was New York able to pull off this apparent miracle?

A recent book by UC-Berkeley Professor Franklin Zimring examines the topic, as does a study released Thursday by the Center for Court Innovation. 

First off, there are a few ways the crime drop didn't happen:

For those crying "gentrification," keep in mind: we're talking about all of New York City, not just Manhattan, and Zimring's research demonstrated that the demographics of the city changed little during the same period.