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NYC Crime on the Rise Again After 20 Years

Robberies and burglaries make up most of the increase.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been touting that for 20 consecutive years, New York City’s crime rate has remained low, but new figures show that the tides may be changing, and that the city may be a more dangerous place to live, according to the Village Voice.

Though the homicide rate is down 16 percent so far this year, the citywide crime rate – which encompasses murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, grand larcenies and auto thefts – is up by 4 percent compared to 2011, and 5 percent since 2010.

According to the Voice, grand larcenies and robberies are to blame for much of the increase, with 2,534 cases of grand larceny and 598 more cases of robberies this year.

"The theft of Apple phones and other handheld devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny this year," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly posted to the NYPD's Facebook page, according to the paper.

NYPD data also shows that the total number of robberies has increased for the past three years, while felony assaults have increased in each of the past four years and rapes have increased each year since 2009.

According to the Voice, major crime in public housing has gone up 14 percent, while robberies and assaults are up about 20 percent each.

State data shows that aggravated assault and violent crime increased in Brooklyn and Queens in every year from 2008 to 2011.

In the 77th Precinct, which covers Prospect Heights, North Crown Heights and Weeksville, crime overall is down 2.32 percent from 2011, but up 17.84 from 2010, according to NYPD crime statistics

While there was one more murder in 2012 than 2011, an increase of 14.3 percent, they are down 38.5 percent from 2010.

Most other crimes are higher in 2012 than two years ago, although they are slightly down from last year:

  • Robberies are down 5.9 percent from last year, but up 40.1 percent from 2010
  • Burglaries are down 10.5 percent from last year but up 6.7 percent from 2010
  • Grand larceny, such as credit card fraudm is up 6.5 percent from last year and up 35.6 percent from 2010.

So what’s the cause?

The Voice says it may be the bad economy and the 10 percent unemployment rate, or the loss of 6,000 cops since 2001. Another theory is that the controversy surrounding the alleged manipulation of the crime statistics has forced commanders to more accurately report their statistics.

In July, the mayor even declared that the city didn’t need more police officers, and didn’t believe that more cops would bring crime down.

"When we came into office, we reduced the size by 4,000 or 5,000, and we've maintained that for 10 years, and every year, we've brought crime down," Bloomberg told reporters then, according to the Voice. "What'd I miss here?"

City Councilman Peter Vallone – a Democrat from Queens, and the chair of the public safety committee – shot back at that, telling the Voice: "The mayor says murder is down, so what's he missing? He's missing the fact that crime in every borough is up, the first time that this has happened in 20 years."

Read the full article at the Village Voice, and then let us know what you think is the cause for the uptick in crime – and what Bloomberg and the NYPD should be doing about it.

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