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Crime: Trends to Watch for the Future of NYC


Suhail Bhat, THE CITY

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The de Blasio years saw an 11% decline in major crimes — but murders and shootings are on the upswing.

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The start of 2022 marks a point of transition between Bill de Blasio’s eight years in charge of New York City and the arrival of Mayor Eric Adams. A mostly new City Council just took office.

THE CITY is giving New York City a checkup by tracking its vital signs year by year on health, poverty, crime, housing, environment, homelessness, transportation and education, showing progress through de Blasio’s terms in office into the pandemic — and the stage set for Adams.

The de Blasio years saw an 11% decline in the seven “major crimes” the NYPD tracks: murder, rape, robbery, burglary, felony assault, grand larceny and grand larceny of a vehicle.

But improvements have slowed in recent years. The yearly rate of decline slowed considerably starting in 2018 — and turned flat in 2020, as the pandemic took hold.

In 2021, the most serious crimes were up 5% from the previous year, including murders that have been on the rise since 2018.   

Rising in line with murders, shootings are on the upswing following a decline, reaching 1,546 this year through Dec. 26 — twice the 2019 number and well above the 1,092 in 2013.

Other major felonies — such as arson, sex crimes, weapon possession and identity theft — declined by 29% between 2013 and 2020. And misdemeanors, including sex, weapons, petit larceny, vehicle, fraud and drug crimes, fell by 40% in the same period.

Read our coverage on public safety and justice.

THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.

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