Is Crime on the Rise in New York Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic?

It is no surprise that the past year has brought many trials and tribulations for the United States and the world at large. One state that has been hit the hardest during this tumultuous time is New York, specifically New York City, as this iconic city has been one of the densest areas for positive COVID-19 cases. Unfortunately, along with this deadly virus has come an increase in violent crimes.

New York crime data indicates that there has been a marginal increase in deadly crimes from 2019-2020, comprised mainly of shootings and murder. After comparing July data from 2019 to 2020,  researchers have concluded that shootings have risen by 177%, and burglary cases have grown significantly as well.  It is interesting to note, however, that while these serious offenses have seen a spike, other crimes such as rape and hate crimes have conversely decreased from 2019-2020 upon entering the pandemic.

Potential Causes of the Rise in Crime

The pandemic has caused a lot of stress and economic hardships on the citizens of New York City. It is believed that the overwhelming economic troubles citizens are going through is one of the potential causes of these increases in crime. Moreover, the government is having trouble providing relief to these people in New York City as they are already spending so much on fighting the pandemic in the hospitals.

Additionally, the rates of crime can often be tied to local political action. As such, the decisions that local government officials have made during the COVID-19 pandemic could be the reason for the rise in the rates of certain offenses. There have been many fingers pointed to why else the crime rates in New York City have been increasing among local officials. Many changes have been made to the justice system in New York City recently. This has caused a lot of division and tension among the people, legislatures, and law enforcement.

State Reaction to Rise in Some Crimes

Among a global pandemic, a weakened economy, and a surge in crime rates, New York government officials have sought out potential solutions. The NYPD is planning on adding around 900 officers to their department on a rolling basis in the beginning months of 2021. Additionally, many public officials including Governor Cuomo are pushing for better gun control laws. With many of these crimes involving shootings, officials want deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals. The plan also includes an increase in on-foot officers to areas with the highest number of shootings, partnering with community leaders to find solutions to these issues, and increasing investigation resources to high crime areas.

It is a scary time in the state of New York. With dangerous crimes like murder and burglary concerningly on the rise, the state has become a vulnerable location during these uncertain times. If you or a loved one has been affected by this dangerous rise in deathly crimes in New York, you should seek legal counsel. Our team at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman could review your case and consult you on how to handle your situation. Contact our office today to find out more.