New York City is coming out of a year that was rife with crime. More notably, the worrying crime problem has recently seen an upward trend with a high rate of crimes being committed by teenagers. Statistics revealed by the NYPD during a CompStat briefing on Thursday, January 5th painted a grim picture. Michael Lipetri, Chief of Crime Control Strategies, presented the statistics at the briefing. In 2022, teenagers made up 17% of the 9,942 robbery arrests made. This is a 4% increase compared to 2021 which saw a teenage arrest rate of 13%. Lipetri claimed that the robbery arrest rate for teenagers rose to 20% in the last quarter of 2022.
In addition to teenagers committing crimes, teenagers are also falling victim to serious crimes. “The trends continue on, unfortunately, with 10% of all shooting victims — 10% of all shooting victims in New York City — are under the age of 18,” Lipetri said. In 2022, LittleAfrica News reported several instances of violence, some of it fatal, involving teenagers.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there were lower numbers of major crimes during the last quarter of 2022. “These decreases are the direct result of a year’s long strategy,” she said. “With this momentum, going forward we are confident [about] the coming year. We expect to see significant progress in the continuance of the crime trends that we’re seeing.”
Mayor Eric Adams was present at the briefing and touched on the subject too. As an example, he used the incident involving the teenage girls at Edwin Markham Middle School that resulted in NYPD officer Nicholas Scalzo using excessive force against a 14-year-old girl. “But I was also horrified to learn that a young girl in that school was being jumped by two other students,” he said. “The violence that’s coming from our young people. When you see some of these actions when you see the total disregard for human life, it is really challenging to just know the impact of what the victims are going through and how these young people are destroying their lives,” Adams said. Adams lamented the situation, claiming the large number of teenagers that are on a criminal career trajectory has to be stopped.