New York City still isn’t able, or willing, to get a handle on crime

New Year's Eve Times Square
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is in Times Square in New York City for a news conference about New Year’s Eve security on Friday, December 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey) Ted Shaffrey/AP

New York City still isn’t able, or willing, to get a handle on crime

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Major crimes are up in New York City even as homicides have begun declining because the city and the state of New York can’t shake out of their soft-on-crime stupor.

Homicides and shootings in New York City have dropped to their lowest numbers since 2019, though they are still higher than the pre-pandemic norm. The city made its most gun-related arrests in 27 years. And yet major crimes are up 22%, a surge driven by robberies and burglaries. According to the New York Times, the city “saw a 37 percent increase in robberies in the first three quarters of the year.”

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So how can New York City be getting a handle on shootings and homicides and still see a 22% surge in major crimes? The state’s bail law would be the easy culprit. As Charles Fair Lehman has noted, the state’s bail law has led to an increase in crime, but mostly outside of New York City. Lehman wrote in December that New York City judges “were already fairly lenient” before the bail reform. Combined with the atmosphere of lawlessness that took hold during the pandemic, especially after the Black Lives Matter riots, you have a toxic combination.

On top of that, Lehman details that the NYPD under Mayor Eric Adams is making around the same number of arrests, and yet the number of reported crimes have surged. That means that the NYPD under the Adams administration is making fewer arrests per reported crime than it did under Bill de Blasio.

Whether that is because Adams is all-talk or because other city leaders, such as those on the City Council, don’t have the stomach to address the issue, New York City is stuck in a soft-on-crime stupor. The city lost control during the pandemic-fueled lockdowns and the riots that were tolerated in the summer of 2020. Police officers have been walking off the job in record numbers since, yet city leaders have been content to continue down this path.

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And, even if they wanted to reverse course, state legislators have made that more difficult with the state’s bail law, which has emboldened career criminals to become more brazen and more dangerous. In all, it’s a failure at the local level and the state level by everyone involved.

With government officials and city leaders not having the stomach to make changes, it comes down to how much crime residents themselves are willing to tolerate. Many residents have chosen to move out rather than wait for that electoral wake-up call. As a result, the city is left to trudge on to nowhere. Nobody wins, except for the career criminals.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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