New York City's police department has said that for the first time in living memory it received no reports of violent crime one day this week.

A police spokesman said that on Monday, New York enjoyed a day without a murder, shooting, stabbing or other incident of violent crime being reported during the 24-hour period.

Experts say such a low number of homicides is highly unusual for a US city of eight million people.

Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne said it was "first time in memory" the city's police force had experienced such a peaceful day.

While crime is up 3% overall, including a 9% surge in grand larceny police attribute to a rash of smart phone thefts, murder is down 23% over last year, the NYPD said.

As for a day without violent crime, experts said they could not recall that happening in recent memory.

"In a city of 8 million people, this is extremely rare," said Tom Repetto, author of 'American Police, 1949-2012.'

There have been 366 murders in the city so far this year, compared with 472 at this time last year, according to the NYPD.

By comparison, Chicago a city of about 2,707,000 people that has been plagued by gang violence in 2012, has registered 462 murders so far this year, according to the Chicago Police Department.

In Philadelphia, a city of about 1,536,000 people, there have been 301 murders so far this year, the exact same number as this time last year, the Philadelphia Police Department reports.

Mr Repetto attributed New York's success to "pro-active" police department tactics, including its controversial stop and frisk policy.

While critics have charged that the dramatic increase in stops has not led to a similar rise in gun seizures, police officials have countered that proactive tactics have made criminals think twice about taking their guns out on the street.