CBS New York has a good review of some recent interviews with residents of Gotham who have been living with the reality of life in the Big Apple under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio. And that new reality is nothing to write home about. It’s true that the NYPD has managed to keep crime statistics down in two of the biggest categories – murder and rape – but aside from that, crime rates have been rising nearly across the board. Robberies, shootings, muggings and assaults have all been on the rise. And people have already been noticing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending his policies in the face of skyrocketing crime in New York City.
It’s a dramatic example of why some New Yorkers say they don’t feel safe on the streets of New York City: one day last week, just before noon, a 28-year-old woman was stopped in her tracks by a man with a box cutter on West 51st Street in Hell’s Kitchen. He threatened to slash her, then reached into her jacket and grabbed her cell phone.
It’s no wonder why a neighbor, a mother of two young children, says she’s thinking of moving.
“I grew up here my whole life. It’s definitely changed. I do not feel safe anymore. Honestly, I felt safer in the ’80s,” she said. “I just feel like crime is up more. I mean they say it isn’t, but that’s BS.”
This trend actually has some New Yorkers feeling nostalgic for the old mayor. One woman interviewed for the article is quoted as saying, “Since Bloomberg left office, the city has changed.”
Thefts of cell phones and other “snatch and grab” larcenies are up nearly 40%. Both shootings and assaults in the transit system have risen by nearly 30%. And car thefts shot up by a staggering 72%.
For his part, Bill de Blasio stuck to the same tune he always sings. He told the CBS reporter that “some people are fearmongers who are trying to denigrate” the city. He also repeated that the Big Apple is “the safest big city in America.”
That may still be true, but it’s also undeniable that the numbers are heading in the wrong direction and that status may be in danger. The head of the police union called the current situation “a public safety emergency caused by the mayor.”
Between the recent bail reform law, the Mayor’s rocky history with the NYPD and a weak approach to lawlessness, the city is now acting as a revolving door for criminals who are arrested and usually put back out on the streets within 24 hours. Many of them go on to commit the same crimes over and over again. And why wouldn’t they? Criminals are aware that the consequences of their actions won’t be nearly as bad as in previous years.
Sad as it may be to say, the majority of the people doing the complaining really have nobody to blame but themselves. None of these actions (or lack thereof) by Bill de Blasio are really new. This has been his approach from day one. And yet he managed to win reelection in 2017 by a whopping 65-27 margin over a Republican who ran on a promise to support the police and get the crime problem under control. In other words, New York, you’re getting exactly what you voted for.
Escape from New York shouldn’t just be a movie title. They should make it the city motto.