There is a rather frightening trend that many in New York may be completely unaware of. Over the last five years, housing projects in New York City saw major crimes shoot up a staggering 31 percent, whereas the rest of the city saw just a 3.3 percent increase.
Those living outside of the housing projects may be shocked by this statistic but ultimately feel it has no impact on their lives. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. As major crimes continue to rise within the housing projects,
how long will it be before they spill out to the rest of the city?
During the past five years, murders and shootings did drop slightly; however, all other major crimes are up:
- Assaults are up 40 percent.
- Rapes are up 13 percent.
- Robberies are up 24 percent.
- Burglaries are up 28 percent.
- Grand larcenies are up 51 percent.
While these numbers seem appalling to those of us on the outside, so to speak, individuals in the Housing Bureau say they may not tell the whole story. In fact, some say that the increase in numbers is due more to increased
reports rather than increased crime. Daily News reports, “Deputy Chief Gerald Dieckmann of the Housing Bureau said the department’s increased efforts urging victims to report domestic
abuse have contributed to the rise in recorded felony assaults and grand larcenies.”
While increased awareness and encouragement to report crimes may have had some impact on the numbers, one has to wonder about all the individuals not reporting crimes because they are afraid of retribution or are involved in criminal activities themselves.
Unfortunately, innocent people are living in constant states of fear and hyper-awareness. The sad fact is that many of those innocent people in the housing projects are elderly. The elderly have had to come up with innovative systems to help keep themselves safe in these crime-ridden areas. Take, for instance, Lillian Muller, 86, who has worked with her friends to develop a special door-knock pattern so they can tell if it is friend or foe at the door, according to the
In response to the rising crime, the New York City Housing Authority and NYPD have initiated multiple programs. These programs include increased “vertical” patrols in buildings of the developments deemed to be “high crime risks,” the installation of security cameras, and Operation Crew Cut, which targets violent crews in housing projects.
Only time will tell if these programs have the desired impact.