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A former police captain who promises to be tough on crime has been declared the winner of the race to pick a Democratic candidate to be New York City's mayor.

Eric Adams, currently borough president of Brooklyn, is now likely to become the city's second black leader.

The winner of the party primary is all but certain to become mayor in the heavily Democratic city.

Police figures last month showed crime in the city rose by 22% in the past 12 months and shootings were up 73%.

The Republican candidate in November's general election will be Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, an unarmed civilian patrol group known for their red berets.

Mr Adams, 60, is a moderate Democrat who denounced the "defund the police" movement during the campaign.

On the stump, he sought to tread a fine line between promising to reform the New York Police Department (NYPD) and keeping New Yorkers safe from crime.

Mr Adams told supporters on the night of last month's primary election: "If black lives really matter, it can't only be against police abuse. It has to be against the violence that's ripping apart our communities."

He was declared the winner on Tuesday evening by the Associated Press, a news agency that tracks vote counts in US national, state and local elections.

His big step towards city hall comes as Republicans blame a spike in homicides across a host of US cities for the "defund the police" movement advocated by Democrats.

Mr Adams' nearest Democratic rival in the race was Kathryn Garcia, who would have been the first female mayor if elected.

She did not voice support for defunding police during her campaign.

Ms Garcia, 51, who formerly ran the city sanitation department, had won the coveted endorsement of the New York Times.