New York is set to record its lowest annual murder rate since the current system of record-keeping began more than 40 years ago, according to figures from the city's police department.
As of last Sunday, there had been just 428 murders in the city in 2007, marking a drop from 511 at the same point last year and putting the city on track to witness fewer than 500 killings in the year.
From one of the murder capitals of the world more than a decade ago to one of the safest large US cities today, New York is among the biggest success stories in the United States' battle against crime.
Violent crime and murder spiked in the early 1990s as a crack cocaine epidemic hit the city, with more than 2,200 murders in 1990 -- the equivalent of more than six a day.
In addition, according to The New York Times, only 35 of the murders analyzed so far in 2007 had been committed by strangers, a tiny statistic for a city of more than eight million people.
The vast majority of the killings involved disputes between family members, criminals or rival drug gangs.