The NYPD says crime in the city spiked for a second month in a row.
And Mayor de Blasio and police officials are again blaming the state’s new criminal justice laws, which eliminated cash bail for most non-violent crimes.
“We’re seeing a major increase in property crimes, in particular," de Blasio said at a briefing at police headquarters. "And I’m the first to say, there’s never only one factor to anything. But there’s a direct correlation to the change in the law and we need to address and we will address it.”
In February, major index crime increased by 22.5 percent when compared to the same period in 2019, according to the NYPD. There were fewer murders and rapes, but there were increases in the number of robberies, assaults, burglaries and grand larceny and auto theft crimes.
The NYPD says that in the first 58 days of this year, 482 people who had already been arrested for committing a felony were re-arrested for committing 846 more crimes. They say all were arrested for offenses that before the new law would have made them eligible for bail.
“Recidivism only grows with time, so can you imagine where we’ll be in six months from now?” said Police Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri.
The Legal Aid Society and a coalition defending the bail reform law says they believes the NYPD is misrepresenting the statistics, noting that docketed complaints fell by nearly 20 percent in January and February.
They said: “Since the NYPD controls how, when, and where they arrest people and what they charge an arrested person with, it is easy for them to generate and then use statistics to promote a self-interested agenda.”
De Blasio responded that the public defenders coalition were the ones twisting data: “It’s a game. They’re wrong.”
This comes as the fight over whether to modify the new law continues at the statehouse, although that effort appears to have the support of at least some Democrats and most Republicans. A spokesman for State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie declined to comment.