Homicides in New York City have decreased by nearly 19 percent in 2012, dropping them to the lowest number since the tracking for the number began in 1963. According to an unofficial record obtained by the New York Daily News, as of Christmas Eve, there were 414 murders in the city, compared to 508 at the same time last year. By the end of 2011, there were 515 homicides.

This number is expected to fall well below the previous low of 471 homicides in 2009. The NYPD is crediting the drop in murders to its highly controversial stop-and-frisk initiative. “I think it’s important for the public to know that we have had a fair amount of success in New York and we’re moving in the right direction,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The city's most dangerous precinct in 2011the 75th, in East New York, Brooklyn—has just 17 murders this year, as compared to last year's 28.

[via NY Daily News]