New York City public schools experienced a 16% rise in serious crimes in the last fiscal year, with a prominent increase in burglaries and grand larcenies, recent data reveals.
Records indicate that 402 major crimes occurred on school premises in the fiscal year that ended on June 30th, an increase from 346 the prior year. Over 50% of these were burglaries or grand larcenies.
There was a 53% hike in grand thefts, with 156 reported incidents in fiscal 2023 compared to 102 the preceding year.
Similarly, burglaries increased by 76%, escalating from 37 to 65 cases.
The Bronx’s Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy was notably hit with at least 11 break-ins this past school year, while other Bronx schools faced thefts of items like calculators.
Mona Davids, the head of the NYC School Safety Coalition, described the findings as “alarming.”
She said, “Burglaries up, grand larcenies up…that’s not normal and children are feeling unsafe. [The city] needs to do something.”
The NYPD reported that most thefts took place overnight when schools were empty.
Some critics attribute the uptick in major crimes to what they perceive as lenient crime policies implemented in recent years, such as defunding the police and eliminating school safety agents.
There were also reductions in other serious crimes: 27% in rapes, 10% in felony assaults, and a 22% decrease in robberies.
However, car thefts on school properties rose by 20%. Although no homicides occurred on school grounds in the past two fiscal years, violent incidents often transpired nearby.
Three students were killed near schools in the 2022-23 academic year, and 18 faced stabbing or shooting incidents. In comparison, the prior school year saw one student death and eight instances of students being shot or stabbed.
Regarding other incidents, the NYPD addressed 1,683 minor crimes at city schools during the last fiscal year, down 4.2% from the year before but still 9.4% above pre-pandemic figures in fiscal 2019.
Non-criminal matters, such as missing person cases and mental health incidents, rose significantly from 4,202 in fiscal 2019 to 6,779 in fiscal 2023.
Furthermore, student accidents are also rising, with 48,710 recorded in fiscal 2023, marking a 14.7% annual increase.