For the First Time in 20 Years, New York's Crime Rate Is on the Rise

While Bloomberg brags about his record, the city's crime rate is on the rise

As for individual precincts, crime is up in 47 of the city's 76 police precincts, NYPD figures show. Seventeen precincts are showing double-digit percentage increases through September 9.

The 101st Precinct in Rockaway, Queens, has shown a 42 percent increase. A trio of adjacent Manhattan precincts—the 23rd, 24th, and 25th, on both sides of the north end of Central Park—each have had increases of more than 16 percent. There are also significant increases in unexpected neighborhoods. The wealthy Upper East Side's 19th Precinct has shown a 15 percent climb in crime, largely due to grand larcenies.

Grand larcenies and robberies are largely fueling the increase—10 percent, or 2,534 cases, of grand larceny and 5 percent, or 598 more cases, of robberies. The increase in grand larcenies has been attributed to a rise in thefts of personal electronic devices, like smartphones and tablets. "The theft of Apple phones and other handheld devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny this year," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly posted to the NYPD's Facebook page. "Individuals alert to their surroundings are less likely to become victims, and Operation ID will help those whose property is lost or stolen to get it back." Meanwhile, only two precincts in the city—the 32nd and 34th in Washington Heights—are showing double-digit declines.

Derrick Haynes, a West Harlem community activist, is trying to get resources for youth to stem violence.
C.S. Muncy
Derrick Haynes, a West Harlem community activist, is trying to get resources for youth to stem violence.
The Grant Houses have basketball hoops—unlike the Manhattanville court.
C.S. Muncy
The Grant Houses have basketball hoops—unlike the Manhattanville court.

The multiyear trends are also somewhat troubling. For example, NYPD data shows that the total number of robberies has increased in each of the past three years. Felony assaults have increased in each of the past four years. The number of rapes has increased in every full year since 2009.

In public housing—and there are more than 300 such developments in the city—major crime is up 14 percent, with robberies and assaults each up about 20 percent, according to a report in the New York Daily News. Crime is also up in the subways.

And even though the NYPD only tracks crime in the 31 largest parks, those figures are showing significant increases in major crimes, according to NYC Park Advocates.

The trend also holds for misdemeanor crime numbers. Misdemeanor assaults are up 9 percent and petit larceny, 6 percent. Misdemeanor sex crimes are up 11 percent. Possession of stolen property cases—another misdemeanor—have gone up in every full year since 2008, along with misdemeanor drug, weapon, and sex offenses.

The crime numbers for New York City kept by the state show that aggravated assault increased in Brooklyn in every year from 2008 to 2011, as did violent crime. The same goes for Queens.

This past summer, the city was afflicted by the same kinds of random episodes of horror seen every year when the heat rises and tempers unravel: the July 29 hammer attack in City Hall Park, which left a victim with a fractured skull; the murder outside the Empire State Building of a salesman by a disgruntled former co-worker and his subsequent shooting by police, who also wounded nine bystanders; the rampage by a mentally ill man in Times Square that led to police shooting him.

The July 21 slashing in midtown by two men of a third. The July 29 attack by six drunk young women on an elderly man who complained they were talking too loud on the downtown 6 train. The July 22 murder of four-year-old Lloyd Morgan, who was hit by a stray bullet near his Bronx home. The July 29 shooting of six, including a two-year-old girl, in Brownsville. The night at Rucker Park in upper Manhattan when a gunman shot five people. The stabbings at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn. The September 10 slashing of two people by a woman on a rampage at a subway station in Jamaica, Queens.

Between July 2 and 8, 77 people were shot across the city. On the Fourth of July weekend alone, seven people were murdered, and 21 were shot.

The NYPD has earned praise for its computerized crime-fighting strategy known as CompStat, so why does it seem that the city has hit a turning point in 2012? What has changed?

Is it the stubbornly bad economy and the 10 percent unemployment rate? Is it the fact that the NYPD has shrunk by 6,000 officers since 2001? Is it that the NYPD's counterterrorism strategies are pulling too many cops out of their home precincts? Has the controversy over alleged manipulation of the crime statistics forced precinct commanders to more accurately report their numbers? Are we taking it easier on criminals? Or is the reason more elusive, a change in attitudes among people involved in crime?

The Bloomberg administration has yet to take a hit over this increase, and Police Commissioner Kelly's approval numbers remain high. The most recent Quinnipiac poll showed Kelly with a 64 percent approval rating among New Yorkers—a rating that has remained constant throughout the year.

In July, the mayor declared that the city doesn't need more police officers and said he doubted more cops would further reduce the murder rate. He also denied the city was in the middle of a crime wave after the rash of shootings between July 2 and 8.

"When we came into office, we reduced the size by 4,000 or 5,000, and we've maintained that for 10 years, and every year, we've brought crime down," Bloomberg told reporters. "What'd I miss here?"

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23 comments
capitoldach
capitoldach

This is what happens when you disarm law abiding citizens. Only criminals have the guns and now have free reign. So sad I see California following this liberal catastrophe.

KareemG
KareemG

"It is worse, consistently worse," says Sarah Martin, the president of the tenant council at the Grant Houses. "It's an increase in gang activity. There are a lot more gangs. There's nothing for kids to do with their time." I think this was the most important thing said, two days ago my aunt was robbed right on her corner 5 A.M. jogging. For thirty years she been moving how she wants to anytime anywhere in Flatbush. (the manhunt continues) Yeah I agree crime has dropped in the last 15 years, but my city has gotten more ridiculous, people dying for Ipods and the wrong color, 20 years ago someone was murdered for shady business, drug dealers and adult Gangsters, everyone wants to be a fucking gangster at 14, i wanted to be Micheal Jordan, but me personally was afforded more than most i seen a lot more of what life has to offer than my friends from around my way in Brooklyn I fucked up  and still continue I've dug half a  hole for myself, but certain friends I've came across were just given a shit seat on the plane of life, wrong hood, wrong school, wrong coach wrong, wrong day, wrong time..forgive my grammar I got my GED in prison when i was nineteen second highest score in the jail to some genius kid from Albany who brought a gun to school. OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES NEW YORK THOSE ARE FUCKING CHILDREN, YES VERY BIG AND VERY SCARY LOOKING BUT KIDS, GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO DO OPEN THERE EYES, FROM BELOW I'VE SEEN TALENT SLIP THOUGHT THE LOOSE HANDS OF HIS OR HER COMMUNITY IF IT'S EVEN THERE'S IN THE FIRST PLACE.

liteedge52
liteedge52

If criminals were afraid that they may find an armed citizen, we'll you get the picture

liteedge52
liteedge52

Because this is more failed liberal progressive policies, just like in California.  Failed ideas, Failed policies 

Benedictine
Benedictine

At the same time crime was decreasing in NYC, upstate cities experienced an influx of new residents from NYC, and crime surges. Crime was never reduced, just moved around. I personally think there's a cause/effect relationship between the loss of jobs to foreign countries and increased violent crime. Not that people are stealing because they are hungry, but that large numbers of young men idle often leads to violent behavior. The drug laws don't help either. People who got locked up for minor drug offenses brought the prison culture back to the community with them, and we are going to be seeing the after effects of that for a long time. 

I also believe a lot of programs designed to help are counter-productive. What have politicians such as Bloomberg done for the working class in NYC? He seems to be trying to make NY a gated community, but he waited too long, and now he would be fencing some of the problem people IN.

Speaking of crime, when is somebody going to make it illegal to use taxpayer money to cover up sex crimes committed by legislators?

 

MrMaG254
MrMaG254

@AvenueP its tucking season all around...that's why i'm gonna keep my lil' Samsung flip phone. cats looking for a reason to start thieving.

MrMaG254
MrMaG254

@AvenueP its the Beats By Dre and iPhone snatchings! they better watch those "how to" vids you putting out. and chain snatching is back...

Dmorris
Dmorris

It's the GANGS Stupid. ITGS. The problem is GANGS and Guns in New York City and that was largely ignored in this article. Ask a teen how many gangs can they name in their school. Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, MS 13, Patria, DDP. I assure every kid in certain schools can name more that 6 and perhaps a dozen gangs operating in and around their schools. Ask them if their family members are gang related. WTF, why is the media and Bloomberg refusing to acknowledge that gangs are destroying a generation of young people in this city. Kids are scared, communities are being ravaged, youngsters are dying and innocents are being victimized at ever increasing rates.

I have no respect for politicians and reporters who will not stand up for the young people in this city. It is criminal for the Mayor, Police department and reporters to ignore the death of a generation of young people in this city. Where are the reports on school crime. I taught school in NYC and crimes are not reported and if they are reported the principal will get in trouble and lose their job.

Cowardly Education Reporters who go in and out off the schools and report nothing are criminals guilty of negligence.

Some brave reporter for the Voice can get a Pulitzer Prize - the title of the story is simple

Crime and Gangs in New York City Public School - How to graduate without getting slashed, robbed and raped.

 

Reporters used to have principles, they used to seek the truth. Today they just want to keep their job and not run afoul of politicians with connections in the Media business.

To quote Mayor Bloomberg to a reporter who asked him an unpleasant question about term limits -

YOU DISGUST ME.

attnl
attnl

Crime is up because we decreased incarceration rates while paradoxically making more and more drugs and other substances illegal.

Convicts get out of prison and go right back to robbing to fund addictions or dealing to make quick money.

Legalize drugs so criminals aren't attracted to getting rich off violent street deals and addicts can get cheap drugs that aren't sold at artificially inflated, black market costs.

awinston
awinston

@KPCCrina911 just as soon as they got a year's worth of non-juked stats...

The_Yeti_Knows
The_Yeti_Knows

This wouldn't happen if the city issued sock puppets to all its taxpayers in a variety of characters.... I could go in for an XL Condaleeza Rice and Oprah in a two headed beast variety.... make a hell of a TLC reality series too if you ask me.

gold
gold

The crime rate went down because there is no federal parole and NY State got tough on gun crime so that perps went away for a long time - long time. Multi offenders with prior time got lots of time.  Crimials are usually repeat offenders, now they don't get out as fast.  Thus, crime is down all over the country.  Younger criminals, gangs, are getting bigger and younger  crime will be back, and up a bit.  Not to worry.  Once they are in the "system," they will be burned out and on psyche drugs which is form of lobotomy.  Cali had to let perps out - overcrowding.  NY dos not have the problem.  It costs a lot to house prisoners - there are other solutions that should be considered; much cheaper.  But it does keep crime down by keeping perps off the streets.  Best regards to VV readers.

EdKollin
EdKollin

The streets and subways feel more menacing; far from 1970-1992 but a noticeable difference from let's say 5 years ago.  An issue not discussed in the otherwise fine article is we are close to 20 years removed from the “bad old days”.  People under 30 plain do not remember saying “be safe” when departing work and that fear of what you will find on the way to and when you got home, whole areas boarded up, and burnt down.   These memories have faded for those who do remember.  Faded also is moral outrage against the regular taking by force of the spoils of years of honest work if not life and limb.  This natural laziness is the disease and less police, emboldened attitude among the criminals are symptoms.   The economy probably is a factor but the city’s economy was also pretty bad and the police and other civil services even more decimated in the wake of 9/11 but crime declined. The “bad old days” were 11 years less in the rear view mirror and the city unified and determined   

sweetupdown
sweetupdown

@villagevoice Big shocker - less cops, more people without housing, higher unemployment. This city expected what exactly?

dhventure
dhventure

Great article on a problem that is not only within NYC but throughout our Nation. City agencies across the country need to place a higher priority on "PROGRAMS INSTEAD OF POLITICS" and provide solutions at an earlier age. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel just push it already rolls. 

Graham did an excellent job in covering the five boroughs and linking the problems associated with juvenile crime and its effect on society as a whole. Maybe now Bloomberg and Kelly along with NYCHA, DFYj and Department of Ed will correct the numbers, open the community centers and review the Stop Question and Frisk program - BRICCS Inc. 

msanders8718
msanders8718

 @liteedge52

 please the jails are full in the red states too the crooks do not care about the corny con/lib crap

AvenueP
AvenueP

@MrMaG254 I only have a Smart Beep alphanumeric pager...

liteedge52
liteedge52

 @Dmorris How easy is it to obtain a handgun and a conceal carry permit in NYC? Yhea I thought so. 

msanders8718
msanders8718

 @gold

 new yor exported a lot of the criminal trash to the cites upstate and down the eastern seaboard

capitoldach
capitoldach

New York has too many programs. What it needs is to end it's Nazi like police state. Follow the constitution and have communities take care of themselves. Instead of having a Nanny-State. I cannot believe that this has gone this far. I believe even less that the people are okay with this. If we start a program that erodes our rights what good is it? If we give our rights up to be safe what good is safety. If we destroy our freedom to protect us from those who "hate our freedom" who really wins in that scenario? I'm sure you have the best intentions in the world, byt these programs usually end up not only taking the power out of our hands, but make the situations worse.

MrMaG254
MrMaG254

@AvenueP lol yes! hit me on the payphone in 20 minutes...

 
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