The number of murders in New York City is expected to hit a record low this year, and shootings are at their lowest point in at least 18 years, officials said Friday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited police efforts, including the controversial tactic known as stop and frisk, and Bloomberg said the statistics showed "that the safest big city in America is safer."

So far, there have been 414 homicides citywide this year, 19 percent less than last year and the fewest since reliable record-keeping for killings began in 1963. The previous low was 471, in 2009.

There have been 1,353 shootings this year, a statistic with comparable records going back to 1994. The previous low was 1,420 in 2009, and the number has dropped by more than 8 percent since last year.