The NYPD’s September crime statistics were released last Friday and the numbers point to continued trends in fewer murders but a general rise in other major crimes compared to 2021.
“One crime victim is one victim too many, and the hardworking women and men of the NYPD are committed to ensuring that no one—in any New York City neighborhood—is harmed by violence or disorder,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell at the briefing. “Our strategies to suppress violence, to seize illegal guns, and to hold criminals accountable for their actions are beginning to gain traction.
“But the NYPD cannot shoulder this work alone. Our entire criminal justice system, and all of our government and community partners, must pull in the same direction and remain focused on our shared goal: the safety of everyone who lives, works, and visits New York City. We have seen too much revolving-door recidivism.”
There were 12 fewer murders last month compared to September 2021, a 23.5% decrease. The NYPD also reports 29 fewer felony assaults. But every other major index crime is up, with significantly more rapes, robberies and burgularies—on whole, reported crimes are up by 15.2% compared to last September and at their highest since 2001, according to Chief of Department Kenneth Corey. And one category stands out.
“The majority of crime in New York City is grand larceny, it accounts for 40% of all the crime,” said Corey. “It also accounts for nearly half of the increase in crime this year. There are several ways to commit grand larceny, but the most common one is the theft of property valued at more than $1,000.”
Both Corey and Sewell blamed recidivism, claiming a small minority of New Yorkers drive crime and violence in New York City. Bail reform was largely not mentioned by name, but the police chiefs frequently brought up the recurring arrests and subsequent release of repeat offenders during the briefing.
A 13.2% reduction in gun violence was also reported last month, along with a 7.4% increase in citywide gun arrests. The NYPD reports over 5,600 firearms seized this year. 2022 gun arrests are at record highs not seen since 27 years ago.
Additionally, the NYPD identified youth gun violence as a growing citywide issue. According to Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri, 10% of shooting victims and 13% of those arrested for shootings are under 18 years old this year. And 15% of minors arrested with a gun go on to commit a shooting.
In August, similar trends of fewer murders and shootings but higher overall crime were reported by the NYPD. In mid-September, Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams revealed they were prioritizing violent crime prevention during an appearance on “GMA3: What You Need to Know.” And took credit for the decrease in gun violence while blaming the increase of general crime on a lack of cooperation from fellow city officials.
“The commissioner was laser-focused on violent crimes, laser-focused,” said Adams during the interview. “And at the same time, predatory crimes. When the commissioner came in January and when I became the mayor in January, we looked at the team—judges, prosecutors, lawmakers—and we said, ‘Everyone is going to focus on the team together.’
“What we did during the early ’90s, that didn’t happen. Police, highest number of gun arrests, highest number of violent arrests. We’re doing our job of taking dangerous people off the streets and taking guns off the streets, but the rest of the team is not playing ball correctly and that is impacting some of our results.”
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 of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w