New York City crime is reported to be down, but murders and rapes are up. Crime reports do not reflect personal safety.
Murders are up 13.2 percent from last year throughout the five boroughs. Rape is up by 13.5 percent. Yet, New York City’s overall crime is down 1.5 percent, according to New York Magazine.
The hoopla about crime being down makes it sound like New York and New Yorkers are safer. Yet, a rise in murder and rape can hardly be considered safe.
Safety in New York City is territorial. Where you live or where you happen to be determines how safe you are.
We all know Manhattan is considered to be the safest of the five boroughs and we all know why. Its high-income residents pay high taxes and high rents to building owners who, in turn, pay high taxes. Businesses also pay hefty taxes. All of this tax money pays for increased police presence and security measures. Also, Manhattan is the tourist capital of the world. The city cannot afforded to have tourists be mugged, injured or murdered. It’s bad for business, and tourism in NYC is big business. Direct visitor spending in the city in 2009 was $28.2 billion, according to NYC The Official Guide.
Yet, with all of Manhattan’s tax and tourist income, there has been a 12.2 percent increase in murder and a shocking 45.1 percent increase in rape in Manhattan this year, according to New York Magazine. Seven of this year’s rapes were committed in one of our most highly publicized tourist attractions, Central Park.
Lower-tax paying, non-tourist east New York has the most murders in the city with 23 reported homicides. Murders in the North Bronx are up 46.2 percent. And according to Our Town, Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side’s 19th Precinct (59th to 96th streets) reports no murders and four rapes in 2010.
These figures demonstrate the disparity in safety by area in New York City that has come to be expected. However, Manhattan’s increase in the violent crimes of rape and murder is surprising.
In addition, the Village Voice’s in-depth coverage of police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft’s case casts suspicion upon the way crime is reported.
If police precincts do not report enough crime, it appears as though officers are not doing their jobs. If precincts report a lot of crime, it makes New York City appear unsafe.
So, when we hear reports that crime is down in New York City, we should not take it for granted that we are safer.
Nitsha Tiku, “Murders and Rapes Are Up Citywide, With Alarming Increases in Certain Neighborhoods,” New York Magazine
“NYC Statistics,” NYC The Official Guide
“Crime Check,” Our Town
“Subject: Adrian Schoolcraft,” The Village Voice