UPPER MANHATTAN — Police from the 34th Precinct ramped up their efforts to curb quality of life crimes over the weekend, flooding Washington Heights and Inwood with an additional 80 officers, police said.
The extra cops spread out through the area on foot Friday and Saturday nights, making 11 arrests and issuing 279 summonses for “quality of life violations such as drinking in public, disorderly behavior and excessive noise,” according to Deputy Inspector Jose Navarro of the 34th Precinct.
As in previous years, area residents have raised concerns about a rise in quality of life crimes as the weather warms up during the summer.
Complaints about loud music, drag racing on motorcycles and all-night parties on sidewalks have been raised at police precinct meetings for years.
At the 34th Police Precinct Community Council meeting in June, Navarro warned his team would be cracking down on such infractions.
“They’re knuckleheads,” he said. “And we’re going to bring some justice here.”
As of July 10, reported crimes in the 34th precinct have risen in each area tracked by the NYPD’s CompStat system, with the exception of rape, misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor sex crimes, according to the year to date statistics.
Murder jumped 150 percent, with two deaths in 2010 compared to five this year; burglary rose 45.5 percent, with 88 incidents in 2010 versus 128 this year; and auto theft is up 41.5 percent, with 41 thefts in 2010 and 58 this year.
Felony assaults rose 8.8 percent, with 114 attacks in 2010 versus 124 this year. Robbery went up 4.3 percent, with 141 incidents in 2010 and 147 this year; grand larceny is up 15.4 percent, with 175 in 2010 and 202 this year; and petit larceny rose 2.2 percent, with 316 incidents in 2010 and 323 this year.
Although the weekend's police surge may have quieted the section of Washington Heights and Inwood north of West 179th Street covered by the precinct, residents who live along Dyckman Street and the northern tip of Inwood still complained about raucous parties and noise over the weekend.
Members of Dyckman-Inwood Noise Action, a community group dedicated to quieting the infamous stretch of Dyckman Street coined “Alcohol Alley” by state Assemblyman Denny Farrell, complained that the strip was as noisy as ever, despite police intervention.
Residents in the Park Terrace area of Inwood complained about a regular pop-up party on 215th Street along the Harlem River.
But as many residents know firsthand, tamping down noise can be tricky.
George Espinal, president of the community council, has said parties tend to move locations when broken up in other areas of the neighborhood, such as 190th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue or the Dyckman Marina.
“They’re blasting music, drinking nutcrackers and throwing chicken wings on the floor,” Espinal said. “You should see it the morning after.”
Police have said they will continue the increased enforcement throughout the summer.