The dog days of summer are truly in July. The NYPD recently released citywide crime statistics for last month and they’re up almost entirely across the board compared to July 2021. 

Headlining the report is a 34.3% increase in murders. Robberies and grand larceny saw even bigger jumps. In fact, only rape was down out of the seven major-index crime categories. And only by 7%, a flimsy margin given the historically severe underreporting of sexual assaults.

“We know that any crime increase in our city is wholly unacceptable,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “Everyone who lives, works, and visits here deserves to be safe, and the members of the NYPD will tolerate nothing less—but we cannot do it alone.”

Gun violence remains an issue, with 21 more shootings this July compared to last. But even with crime spiking in July, the number of murders and shootings decreased this year. According to CompStat, both dipped from 2021 by roughly 10%. 

As for historical context, there were 527,257 major crimes reported in New York City back in 1990, including 2,262 murders. Over halfway through 2022, the NYPD reports 74,539 major crimes reported as of Aug. 8, with 261 murders tallied. 

Also higher this July are hate crimes, which saw a general 50% increase, with incidents based on anti-Semitism and sexual orientation leading the way and both roughly doubling from last year. But Audacia Ray, director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), says the numbers don’t paint the full picture.

“The numbers that AVP gathers are typically higher than what the NYPD is seeing, because people call us to get support,” she said. “If you fund prevention and reporting, you get more reporting—which may or may not track with an increase in violence.”

However, she is noticing an uptick in violence directed at LGBTQ+ New Yorkers this summer, most notably at Drag Queen Story Hour events held across the city’s public libraries, schools and bookstores. The attacks were a first for most, and many ran their programs from an upwards of five to six years. 

Tandy Lau is a Report for America corps member and writes about public safety for the Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w 

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