Crime is up in New York City though there is some good news we’ll get to in a moment. But overall, major crimes were up 22% last year.
Mayor Eric Adams, who campaigned on a promise to improve public safety, said at a news conference at Police Department headquarters that the city had made progress. He lauded the agency for its efforts to increase gun arrests and rid the five boroughs of illegal guns and drugs.
Still, the mayor said the city must drive down robberies, burglaries and grand larcenies — categories that contributed to the increase in what it defines as major crimes last year, to 126,537 from 103,388 in 2021. The mayor said retail theft and subway safety are among his top concerns.
“We know we have more to do,” Mayor Adams, a former police captain, told reporters at the news conference. “New Yorkers must be safe based on the stats, and they must feel safe based on what they’re seeing. That is my obligation: to ensure that safety is felt.”
The good news is that the number of shootings and murders dropped. There were 433 murders last year which was a drop of 11 percent compared to the previous year. But that’s still well above the all time low in 2017 of 292 murders. Shootings were down even more, about 17 percent compared to 2021. What’s up is everything else, especially robberies and burglaries. Those two were up 37% in the first three quarters of the year. Things improved in the final quarter. The Daily Mail has more:
Rape – which rocketed in 2020 when streets were empty and unemployment rife due to unrest caused by the coronavirus – rose by 7 percent, with more than 120 occurring this year than last.
Robberies, meanwhile, rose a shocking 20 percent, despite recent measures taken by Adams, 62, to increase police presence throughout the city.
Assaults and theft throughout the city, meanwhile, show a similarly pronounced rise, with felony assaults up 12 percent – 26,039 incidents this year compared to 22,835 seen last year – and burglaries up an alarming 25 percent.
Crime on the subways is also up about 30 percent, despite increased patrols by police and significant spending by the city.
…the city’s deployment of thousands of additional police patrols in the transit system and added overtime hours have their limits due to high costs and the toll it takes on cops…
The New York City Police Department is spending an additional $20 million per month on overtime costs on top of regular levels, which pushed its overtime spending to $272 million through November. That’s more than 70% of the annual overtime budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30, according to New York City Comptroller Brad Lander’s office.
The rise in spending comes as Adams tries to tamp down on criticism that the city isn’t doing enough to combat crime in the transit system, where ridership has stagnated at 60% of 2019 levels.
Another concern highlighted by Mayor Adams was that a growing percentage of the robberies and burglaries are being committed by teenagers.
Out-of-control teens are committing a growing portion of the Big Apple’s robberies, the NYPD revealed on Thursday — as Mayor Eric Adams warned that many city kids were headed toward a “career in violence.”
During a briefing on last year’s CompStat numbers, Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri said that 20% of robbery arrests during the fourth quarter involved “individuals under the age of 18,” compared to 17% for the entire year.
“Under 18, robbing New Yorkers. The statistics are out there,” he said ruefully…
“The violence that’s coming from our young people,” Adams continued. “When you see some of these actions, when you see the total disregard for human life, it is really challenging to just know the impact of what the victims are going through and how these young people are destroying their lives.”
Still, the percentage of teens committing major crimes was lower last year than it was prior to the pandemic so maybe there’s some kind of reverting to the pre-pandemic mean going on.
Politico reports Al Sharpton convened a group of black leaders last night to discuss the crime situation but the media wasn’t let in on what was discussed.
Black leaders from across New York government convened Thursday night at the behest of the Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss ways to reduce crime across the state. They called it “productive,” but didn’t say what they actually discussed.
The issue has been top-of-mind for voters, propelling New York City Mayor Eric Adams to victory in 2021, narrowing the recent gubernatorial race to within 6 points and costing Democrats several House seats in the midterms. The evening’s assemblage included politicians with widely divergent viewpoints: Mayor Eric Adams, for instance, has been at loggerheads with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie over bail laws since arriving in City Hall.
Finally, I’ll close this out with the response of some commenters to the NY Times story. The top two comments reject the claim made in the story that the murder spike is a result of the pandemic.
The author tries to attribute the dramatic increase in murders over the past three years to the pandemic. Well, the pandemic is mostly over, and yet the 2022 murder rate was still about 50% higher than in 2019. And it was only 7% lower than in 2020, at the depths of the pandemic.
Why wasn’t the jump in murders attributed to the rioting in 2020 and loss of respect for others that followed? Or to changes in charging and bail policies that followed? The fact that teens are leading the increase in robberies suggests that they know that there will be few repercussions if caught.
The other point often overlooked in this discussion is that the pandemic and lockdowns started months before the real spike in violence which happened at about the same moment people began reacting to George Floyd’s murder. Also, the pandemic was worldwide but the spike in violence happened largely in the US.