On Friday, December 16, Mayor Eric Adams hosted an anti-crime summit. The summit, held at Gracie Mansion, was set up as a platform and opportunity for solutions and ideas on how to deal with the challenge of retail theft. The summit was attended by New York City stakeholders in law enforcement and business. New York State Attorney General Letitia James and the city’s five district attorneys attended the meeting. Representatives from business groups and large retailers such as Starbucks and Target were also present at the meeting.
According to the NY Post, Adams gave a speech and then promptly left 20 minutes into the two-hour meeting. His office released a statement regarding the meeting saying, “Our retail stores have my commitment that we will continue to work towards real, long-lasting solutions on the issue of retail theft.” Adams said in a release, “The vast participation at today’s summit sends a clear and unified message that will not allow anyone to simply walk away with impunity when they take something without paying for it.”
Manhattan’s District Attorney, Malvin Bragg was at the meeting and shared his perspective. “Today’s discussion between various stakeholders — retail stores, union leaders, Business Improvement District leaders, the NYPD, City Hall, treatment providers, prosecutors, and legislators — was collaborative and productive,” he said.
According to the NY Post, some of the ideas discussed included how technology could be utilized to fight retail theft. There were also discussions on the best surveillance methods and the strengthening of law enforcement partnerships. At the time of writing, it was not clear whether an effective and viable plan had been drawn up.
Retail theft has been a problem in New York City. According to NYPD statistics, 47,000 incidents of retail theft had taken place up to September 2022. The number of retail thefts has worryingly increased when compared with statistics from 2019 when there were 38,000 cases that year.