New York State of Crime
New York City is still blanketed by a worrying wave of crime. According to statistics released by the NYPD, major crimes have increased by 36% compared to the same period in 2021. Grand larceny has increased by 48.3% with incidents rising from 20,374 to 30,205.
An increase of 42% was seen in the theft of motor vehicles. Cases of robbery rose from 7,366 to 10,294. Rapes increased by 10% while felonious assaults rose by 19.5%. The number of murders has decreased from 284 to 261. Shooting incidents have dropped by 10.1% while the number of people shot lowered by 7.4%.
The crime in the city is worrying because it is bad across the board, according to former NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Joseph Giacalone. “The politicians will say ‘Murder is down!’ and ignore everything else,” he said.
“Meanwhile, everything else is God awful.” While murder and shootings have decreased, the numbers have actually increased when compared to two years ago. Murder has increased by 2% compared to two years ago and by 48.5% compared to five years ago.
The increase in crime is not merely a problem in New York City. An uptick in crime has been reported in a number of cities in New York State. An increase in gun crimes has been seen in a number of cities including Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, and Troy.
The city of Rochester saw an increase of 26.1% in fatal shootings. The Mayor of Rochester, Malik Evans, witnessing the devastation caused by gun violence was forced to declare a state of emergency in the city.
Syracuse has seen a 30% drop in fatal shootings despite an increase in both shooting incidents and the number of victims. Gun crimes have increased across the board in Binghamton and Troy. The gun crime fatality rate in Binghamton and Troy rose by 200%.
The residents of these locales have complained about the implementation of bail reform laws. These laws have been criticized for being lenient on violent criminals. “Bail reform is terrible and it has made the criminals too confident — they are laughing at the police,” said Allie Forest, who lost her 16-year-old daughter, Zahira Smith to gun violence.
“If politicians like Gov. [Kathy] Hochul lived on the dangerous streets we do, we wouldn’t have bail reform.” Jeanette Klein, a resident of Syracuse, spoke of how bail reform laws did not work. “I understand the jails are full and they want to give criminals an appearance ticket, but it’s not safe for the rest of us,” Klein said. “We’re afraid.”
More Insight on New York State of Crime…
The calls for changes to bail reform laws have been repeated time and time again. Mayor of New York City Eric Adams added his voice to the matter, calling upon the legislators in Albany to change the laws from their current state. Adams has called for a special session to be convened in the New York State legislature to enable a change.
Governor Kathy Hochul refuted the need for a special session. The governor believes that the bail reform laws are adequate and will function well if applied accordingly by judges. She placed blame for the failures of the bail reform laws on the judges. “I believe in accountability at all levels. And, you know, people can’t just be saying that they don’t have something when they do have it. They make that as an excuse,” Hochul said on Wednesday, August 3rd.
The governor claimed that bail reform laws had been adjusted and expanded to give judges more power and discretion with regard to granting of bail. Hochul also suggested that judges should be trained on the application of bail reform laws.
Her words drew criticism and responses from several quarters including from Adams, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, and New York’s Office of Court Administration. “Judges have received extensive training on the bail reform legislation, including all of its amendments,” said Lucian Chalfen, spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration, in defense of judges.
Hochul insisted there was nothing wrong with the laws, only their application. “What I want to start seeing is the implementation of those laws at all levels. And we’re going to be releasing data on whether or not they really are understanding the power and the broad discretion that judges have had before but even more so now,” Hochul said, referring to judges at a press conference on Monday, August 8th.
According to reports, the data Hochul refers to only becomes available towards the end of the year. Hochul also indicated that any serious changes to the bail laws would be made after the election.
Hochul’s opponent for the governorship, Lee Zeldin had his own words of criticism directed at Hochul. “There is no evidence that Kathy Hochul has any ability or willingness to be the strong Governor we need to secure our streets. There is plenty of evidence that pro-criminal laws, soft on crime DAs, and lax, far-left judges are making life in New York much less safe,” he tweeted.