New York City, NY

Opinion | Crime in New York City

Chelsea Reed

A tale of stabbings, shootings, robberies, and a mayor too busy playing Mr. Hollywood to realize Gotham is burning.

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New York City | Skyline at SunsetAndre Benz

In a shameful attempt to assuage the citizens of New York, the media and Mayor Adams have repeatedly pointed out that crime isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. Somehow, continually falling on a statistic that is 40 years old has done little to calm the nerves of New Yorkers or convince them Mayor Adams is prepared to tackle the obstacles ahead (even if crime and violence are down over 80% since 1980).

With 5 stabbings and numerous shootings in the last week alone, it certainly seems crime is on the incline. Yet, the statistics still reveal gun violence is down from this time last year.

Although, this past week was a particularly violent one throughout the boroughs, with 29 shooting victims and 23 shooting incidences. For a city of a few million, I suppose those statistics aren't terrible.

Our dear Mayor Adams appears to be vibing with celebrities more than anything these days while he attends jazz concerts, broadway shows, and countless parties. A luxury many New Yorkers are forgoing as violence grips the city and public transit becomes more unhinged.

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Crime Rate Chart | NYPDABC News via NYPD

According to statistics from New York Police Department, crime is indeed down even from the early aughts. At the rate it's spiking upward though, that stat may not last long.

The ramifications of financial turmoil are being felt deeply throughout the boroughs with inflation robbing people of the pennies they managed to save during the pandemic. Historically, when inflation increases, crime does as well. But is that the sole reason crime is rapidly becoming the norm again in New York City?

As the criminals behind these acts of violence have slowly been detained by police, their criminal backgrounds are being unearthed. The discoveries are shocking, to say the least, and suggest the powers to be have created a pattern of leniency. Do we have a broken criminal justice system to blame for our current predicament? The short answer: Absolutely.

Over the last few years, the legislation has unintentionally curated a justice system that empowers gang members. While Raise the Age had good intentions, a lack of resources and shortsightedness has carved a path for guns to repeatedly be put in the hands of teenage gang members.

Gangs are just a portion of the problem, and addressing the complexities surrounding them would require systemic change these communities have been waiting on for decades.

The rest of the criminal activity can be chalked up to a lack of proper resources available for those suffering from mental illness. With minimal treatment or intervention available, mentally ill individuals exhibit violent episodes as we have witnessed in an abundance this year. The laws in place are, once again, well-intentioned but woefully lacking a follow-up.

Under these laws and reforms, the tax dollars that would usually be utilized to incarcerate a mentally ill individual are used to provide the interventions necessary. In theory, anyway.

With high inflation, prevalent gangs, unaffordable healthcare, failing systems, and Mayor Adams not being Batman, it seems crime is here to stay.

Stay safe out there New Yorkers.

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Batman | Our HeroSajjad Ahmadi

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New York-based writer covering local news, politics, events, food, and life in the city.

New York, NY
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