The NYPD has been struggling to halt the post-pandemic wave of violence — with overall major crime staying steady over last year, but still up more than 34% when compared to 2018, new police data shows.
Police statistics reveal that any progress made over the last year in five of the seven major crime categories was offset by a continued rise in felony assaults and car thefts, which were up 7.7% to 9,977 and 16.3% to 5,723, respectively, as of Sunday.
The NYPD has slowed the uptick in murders, which are down to 146 from 168 during the same time period last year. Experts say the trend is a result of Mayor Eric Adams’ focus on reducing gun violence — another pandemic-fueled surge — which has dipped more than a quarter this year compared to 2022, according to the data.
But other major categories — such as burglary, robbery, grand larceny and rape — each saw a decrease of only a few points, leaving overall crime rates up by just over 1% so far in 2023, according to the data.
The stats are more jarring when compared directly to pre-COVID numbers — every serious category logged double-digit jumps compared to 2018, when crime levels were 34.1% lower.
Murders are up 30% compared to five years ago; robbery is up by a quarter; felony assault is 35% higher, and car theft is up by a whopping 217%.
City officials have said this year that stolen car numbers ballooned in part because of a viral TikTok challenge that pushes teens to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles using just a USB cable.
Still, the tide of rising crime has continued to break upon New York’s shores as NYPD staffing levels have plummeted to worrying lows — and the historically more-violent summer months approach.
“There’s not enough cops to keep up with crime,” one police source told The Post. “We are losing more cops via retirement than we are getting new hires — and everyone we arrest is let go unless it’s a murder, so more crime is the new normal.”
Another source groused that cops on patrol are “burnt out” from compensating for the loss of manpower and mandatory overtime.
“They can’t even get a day off approved,” the source said. “Everyone is doing the bare minimum to maintain sanity so of course they’re not going to be proactive.”
The exodus — driven mostly by low wages, perceived anti-cop politics and bail reform policies that quickly put criminals back on the street — has left the NYPD’s uniformed headcount at under 34,000.
That’s about 1,200 below the budgeted number and more than 2,500 short of the more than 36,000-member roster at the start of 2020, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell told the City Council during last week’s budget hearing.
The department is also down about 1,700 full-time civilians over the same time, the city’s top cop added.
But the number of calls for help haven’t dropped, she said.
The NYPD responded to about 700,000 more 911 calls in 2022 compared to 2019, and nearly 530,000 more 311 complaints. And it’s continued to climb this year, she added.
“New Yorkers are reaching out and calling for NYPD services in larger numbers,” Sewell told the council, adding, “Like many of our partners in city government, we have been doing more with less.”
Sewell testified that New Yorkers can see the NYPD’s efforts in the more than 20% increase in arrests.
That’s going to have an effect, experts said.
Mayor Eric Adams has also made a point of pushing more officers into the city subways in response to a burst of high-profile homicides in the city’s ancient underground last year, such as the shoving death of Michelle Go.
Crime began to decline – major felonies dropped, even as ridership increased – as soon as the officers took to the subway cars, a Post analysis showed.
“If you are missing thousands of officers, then there is a certain impact on the ability to saturate high-crime areas,” said Maria Haberfeld, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.
“I’m the first person to stay it’s not about numbers, but the quality of officers,” Haberfeld continued. “But the amount of calls NYC gets, numbers are needed. And it’s a new normal, because I don’t see any changes in recruitment.”
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