NYC shootings nearly double, arrests for serious crimes fall

Shooting incidents in New York City have nearly doubled this year, while arrests for major crimes have decreased, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD) sources.

“From January 1 through Sunday (November 15), the city has recorded 1,359 shootings, an increase of nearly 95 per cent from the 698 in the same period last year,” Xinhua news agency quoted a New York Times report citing the NYPD sources as saying on Wednesday.

“The number of shooting victims rose to 1,667 from 828,” the report said.

Meanwhile, arrests for major crimes have fallen by nearly 13 per cent, driven by drops for every major category except burglaries, car thefts and gun-related crimes; arrests for crimes involving guns are up nearly 19 per cent this year, it added.

Meanwhile, the year-over-year increase in shootings and murders is more pronounced than any in more than two decades, according to the report.

Murders in the city rose more than 37 per cent, with 405 reported between January 1 and Sunday (November 15), compared with 295 in the same period in 2019, the New York Times quoted the NYPD sources as saying.

Criminologists, police and law-enforcement officials have cited various factors for the city’s rise in violent crimes, including a backlogged court system, changes to bail laws and a decrease in the numbers of arrests, it added.

Addressing the media, Mayor Bill de Blasio attributed the rise in shootings and the drop in arrests to factors related to the coronavirus pandemic, citing the closure of businesses, schools and houses of worship as factors that created a “perfect storm” in the city.

“A lot of things we depend on to keep people safe and stable weren’t there,” the Mayor added.