So far this year, there has been a 23 percent increase in rape in Brooklyn compared to seven percent citywide, the Times reports, with 137 reported through mid-April compared to 111 in 2012. Police have suggested that the rise in rape could be attributable to “a greater willingness of victims to come forward” and noted that rape is still down significantly compared to 12 years ago. Specifically in Bushwick, incidences of rape reported to the police have decreased from this time last year—nine in 2013 compared to 12 in 2012—but statistics indicate that half of all rapes in Brooklyn happen in just four of the borough’s 23 police precincts: those in Brownsville, Bushwick, East New York and Flatbush.
“The majority of sexual assaults involve a suspect and a victim who know each other,” according to the paper, but there have also been a handful of high-profile assaults by serial rapists attacking strangers, which can set the public on edge: one suspect, Dexter Bell, was arrested last week for three rapes in April in Canarsie and Crown Heights the day before images were released of another suspect wanted for a rape in April and an attempted rape in February, both in Bushwick.
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