Major crime continues to soar in New York despite ‘broken windows’ returning to police

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Serious crime and shootings showed no signs of slowing down last month, with new NYPD data showing a 37% increase in major crime across the city, according to figures released Wednesday.

In the first 100 days of Mayor Eric Adams’ administration, the tough-on-crime former police captain touted the creation of a new anti-gun unit and a return to broken-window policing , but so far the controversial initiatives have done little to curb crime overall.

While homicides and rapes fell 15.8% and 4.3% respectively in March compared to 2021, shootings, robberies, felony assaults, burglaries, armed robberies, thefts of cars and hate crimes are all up from a year ago.

The overall jump this year is largely due to a sharp increase in vehicle thefts, robberies, armed robberies and burglaries, cops said.

Shootings rose 16.2% in March and since the start of the year, the NYPD has recorded 332 victims of gun violence – a 14.5% increase over the same period in 2021 and an average rate of nearly four victims per day, according to the data.

“Our police need more help,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Wednesday at the first crime statistics news conference since Adams took office. is only the second time the rookie commissioner briefed reporters at police headquarters.

Sewell said “our police need more help” during his crime data press conference on April 6, 2022.
William Farrington

“We need help from all corners of the criminal justice system and from everyone who lives, works or visits our beautiful city. Any amount of crime and disorder is unacceptable.

The continued spike in shootings has occurred during some of the colder months of the year when gun violence typically drops and it’s a trend that law enforcement sources say will only get worse in the summer when shootings traditionally increase during the warmer months.

The data comes as Adams, who won the vote on a promise he would bring safety and order to the Big Apple, marked 100 days in office. His tenure so far has been marred by seven police shootings and crime levels that continue to eclipse pre-pandemic numbers.

Juana Esperanza Soriano De-Perdomo was hit by a stray bullet while walking in the Bronx this week.
Juana Esperanza Soriano De-Perdomo was hit by a stray bullet while walking in the Bronx this week.

While crime remains far from what were dubbed in Gotham the “bad days” of the 1980s and 1990s, it remains at least at its highest level in five years.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, vehicle thefts in March 2022 increased by 107%, shootings increased by 69%, robberies increased by 26%, felony assaults increased by 22, 5% and robberies increased by 37%.

Around 7 p.m. Monday night, Juana Esperanza Soriano De-Perdomo, 61, was walking on East 188th Street near Grand Concourse when she was fatally hit by a stray bullet, cops said.

Several days earlier, 12-year-old Kade Lewin had been killed when a stray bullet hit him in the head while he was sitting in a parked car with two parents in Brooklyn and on March 25, a 3-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet while leaving her Brooklyn daycare center around 6 p.m.

The NYPD’s new anti-weapons unit, dubbed the Neighborhood Safety Teams and seen as a revamped version of the disbanded anti-crime unit, was tasked with reducing street crime and shootings. In the three weeks since the program took effect on March 14, teams made 135 arrests, but only 19% involved firearms, or just 25, said department chief Ken Corey.

Of those arrested for firearms, four were minors, five have open criminal cases and seven have previous felony convictions.

According to department chief Ken Corey, only 19% of Neighborhood Safety Team arrests involved firearms.
According to department chief Ken Corey, only 19% of Neighborhood Safety Team arrests involved firearms.
William Farrington

A total of 91 of the 135 handcuffed have prior arrests, 57 have felony arrests and 21 were on parole or probation when taken into custody, Corey said.

Of those arrested, only 10% remain behind bars, Corey said, but did not provide details on the charges against the defendants and why they were released from prison.

Chief of Crime Strategies Michael LiPetri has tried to blame the rise in car thefts, burglaries and robberies on “repeat offenders”, but the impact that repeat offenders have had is negligible. While arrests of repeat offenders for robbery, burglary and auto theft rose 47% in 2022 from 2019, repeat offenders made up less than 1% of those arrested for the crimes this year.

Asked how long it would take to see a reduction in crime after the creation of NSTs and a change in policing style, Sewell said the results were expected “rather quickly”.

“But we know it doesn’t take weeks to reverse the trends that have happened over the past few years, but we are working every day to change those numbers,” Sewell said.

“We certainly don’t want people to have to wait. One of the reasons we do the big picture is that we want to see what works and what doesn’t and be able to fix it as we go along. We’re definitely not taking our eyes off the ball and we expect our results to reflect that and that’s what I think we’re starting to see.

Additional reporting by Tina Moore

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