New York City, NY

New York City's violent crime rate continues in certain crime "hot spots"

Tara Blair Ball
Photo by Gianandrea Villa on Unsplash

For three decades, the violent crime rate in New York City has been decreasing (up to 19%), but for those who live in crime-ridden areas, they only saw a decline of 11%. Is the NYPD and other government agencies doing their job to support these crime hot spots? And why are the numbers of violent crimes rising again?

The New York Daily News reported "a 97% jump in shootings and a 45% increase in murders" in 2020. An increase of that number hasn't been seen in well over a decade. There were more shootings in four months (May through September) in 2020 than in all of 2019.

Some blame the rise on the most recent bail reforms, which allowed more jailed prisoners out to stem the coronavirus spread amongst the prisoner population.

Regardless of why, no one can deny that violent crimes are on the rise again.

The New York Daily News reports that 25% to 50% of all crimes are committed in just 1% of areas in New York City. These are deemed "crime hot spots." In a study, it was found that "a very small proportion of streets in the city is responsible for a significant proportion of the crime problem."

If the overall crime rate has been declining, why did are these hot spots not seeing a similar decline? It's also clear knowledge which streets are part of these "hot spots." As reported by the New York Daily News, "nearly all the streets that were hot spots as we have defined them in 2010 were also hot spots in 2020." That means the higher proportion of violent crimes continue to be isolated to specific areas, and those specific areas continue to be an issue even a decade later.

In 2015, 82 crimes were reported across an area of over 1000 streets. In 2020, that number was 73. While the decline is still considerable, it's simply not enough. These high-crime hot spots are spread throughout the city, many in Manhattan, but also in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Many of these crimes, especially the shootings, are perpetrated by street crews and gangs, which the NYPD could work more to specifically target.

Sadly, many shootings have had terrible causalities, such as when a 1-year-old was shot in his troller after two men opened fire at a cookout held on a Playground.

While the NYPD has been doing well in preventing crime across all of New York City, more needs to be done to support the over 1000 streets that still have the highest number of violent crimes.

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