Incidents of murder, burglary and shooting are on the rise in New York City as it gears up for Phase II reopening on Monday. The latest data released by the New York Police Department (NYPD) shows that incidents of shooting, murder and burglary jumped in May to a record high. New York City witnessed around 100 incidents of shooting in May.
The rise can be blamed on gang and drug activity along with a spike in the number of jobless owing to the coronavirus-led lockdown. The fresh data comes three days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at police reforms after officers from across the United States were criticized for their heavy-handed tactics as the first reaction when handling suspects.
NYC Epicenter of Crime
Data shared by the NYPD on Friday shows a sharp rise in crime rates in New York City in May, as protests and riots continued following the death of George Floyd. There have been 38 murders and 97 shootings in the past 28 days, more than double the number compared with last year. So far, this year has seen a record number of 159 murders, 25 percent higher than last year, the stats show.
This year's murder count is on par with the city's murder total five years ago and is expected to rise once the economy reopens fully. Shootings surged 64 percent, while burglaries rose 34 percent in the past month compared to last year. There have been 394 incidents of shooting so far this year. The rise in the number of murders and shootings can primarily be linked to different gangs of drug cartels fighting over territory.
Also, incidents of burglary and car thefts jumped an astounding 47 percent and 60 percent respectively. New York City has reported a staggering 1,691 cases of burglaries and 3,087 cases of car thefts this year. NYPD officials say that car theft has become a national trend given that most people didn't use cars due to a decline in traveling rate owing to the coronavirus-related lockdown.
Back to Old Days
The latest data comes on a day the NYPD disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime unit as it adjusts to three seismic changes: the coronavirus pandemic, mass protests against police brutality and racism against African-Americans following Floyd's killing, and the effects of the state's bail reform law. The disbanding of plainclothes anti-crime team will see the realigning of around 600 police officers in other roles.
NYPD officials say that the uptick in violence, murder and burglaries is something they haven't encountered in the past six to seven years and reflect a picture the city was once infamous for. Also, the growing incidents once again prove the rise in drug smuggling and gang wars in the city. New York City was once the epicenter of crime in the United States. In 1990, New York City saw 2,262 murders. However, the numbers declined and hit a low of 292 murders in 2017.
Joblessness due to the pandemic is another reason that has resulted in an uptick in burglaries and car thefts. The incidents are likely to rise as the economy enters its Phase II reopening on Monday. The NYPD said that it will depute hundreds of officers to patrol the streets this summer especially the areas which have seen a surge in crime. However, incidents of rape and robbery have declined 33 percent and 23 percent, said the NYPD.