Crime Creeping Back Up After De Blasio Touts Record Lows
CIVIC CENTER — The city is seeing its homicide and gun-related crime rate creep back up under Mayor Bill de Blasio, nearly a month after he stood with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to say that they had reached historic lows.
While de Blasio touted the crime drops of earlier this year as proof that his change in police tactics from those of his immediate predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, were working, his office declined to comment on the uptick.
For the year, murders were down 7.5 percent through April 6 compared to the year before, a smaller gap than March 11, when they were down 21 percent.
And homicides were up more than 18 percent in the 28-day period ending on April 6, from 22 the year before to 26 this year.
In the last week of March alone, nine people were killed, up from just four people in the same week of 2013, police statistics show.
On March 11, when de Blasio made the crime announcement, shooting incidents were down 14 percent from the year before, a trend the mayor said proved his shift on stop-and-frisk and other police policies was working.
“Some nay-sayers suggested that you couldn’t bring down crime while bringing police and community back together,” de Blasio said at the time. “I think these last 10 weeks show – yes, you can and yes, we will.”
By April 6, shooting incidents were only down 1.4 percent from the year before and were actually up nearly 33 percent during the 28-day period ending that day — from 61 to 81.
Shooting victims were up more than 40 percent during that 28-day period, from 72 to 101, according to the data.
Most of the seven major crime categories are down for the year, but two are up — felony assault and car theft.
Overall crime is still down slightly — 1.2 percent — year over year. This also represents a small slip from March 11, when de Blasio said that overall crime in the city was down 2 percent.
"Mayor de Blasio knows we can keep our neighborhoods safe by bringing police and community closer together," said de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak. "To that end, he and Commissioner Bratton have put forth a number of reforms, and we’re seeing that year-to-date, crime is going down."
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Danielle Tcholakian