Crime in New York City was at another record low last year, that is if you look at the total number of reported incidents, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea informed the public on Monday. NYPD reports there were 872 fewer incidents in 2019 than in 2018, however, hate-crimes were on the rise. And so were murders, robberies, and assaults.
Murder in the city was up 23, or almost 8%, Robberies were up 398 incidents or 3%, and assaults were up 294 incidents or 3%.
Brooklyn North reported 14% increase in murders (65, up from 57 in 2018), 6.4% increase in rapes (282, up from 265) and a 17.8% increase in car thefts – 933, up from 792 in 2018. Murders in Brooklyn South dropped to 33 from 41 the year before, or 20%.
All in all, there were 98 murders in Brooklyn last year, the same as last year.
Hate crimes, particularly those against the Jewish community, increased by a shocking 26%. There was also a 67% total increase in religion-based hate crimes, and an 86% increase in gender-related hate crimes. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation went up by 20%. There were over 234 reported anti-Semitic crimes in 2019, accounting for 55% of total reported hate crimes in 2019.
Many of these occurred in Brooklyn, such as when two Jewish men were attacked in Crown Heights in January. In February, swastikas were found drawn on playground equipment in Brighton Beach, and the window of a Bushwick synagogue was shattered. These are just a few of a frightening rash of crimes that plagued the Jewish community in 2019.
In addition to reported hate crimes, Brooklyner recently reported on the appearance of white supremacist, Neo-Nazi recruitment materials in Bay Ridge.
“The recent rise of anti-Semitic attacks are heartbreaking and destructive to the fabric of our city,” said Stephen Levin, Council Member for Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and other north Brooklyn neighborhoods. “Anti-Semitism is a poison that can have no place in our society. It is our obligation to address it head on. As I stated in my letter to the DOE, the anti-Semitism that we have been seeing must be addressed with an educational component, in addition to a public safety approach, that teaches the Holocaust in the context of other genocides throughout history so students have the opportunity to understand each other’s respective historical trauma and recognize the suffering in many of our communities’ not so distant past. We must inoculate against hate by building knowledge and empathy.”
“While crime is at a record low in New York City, there is more work to do to ensure that every New Yorker feels safe in their neighborhood. We will continue to use precision policing to target enforcement and deepen our work with communities to fight crime,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. “With Commissioner Shea at the helm, I have full confidence the NYPD will continue to make our city even safer.”