NYPD cites bail reform as New York City sees spike in major crimes

It may come as no surprise to many critics of New York City’s bail reform law that newly released statistics showed a surge in the number of major crimes.

The New York Police Department blamed the state’s lax criminal justice reforms for the rise which saw an increase of 20 percent in serious crimes committed over the first two months of 2020, with nearly 500 suspects arrested being released back on the streets where they committed more crimes.

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

“Criminal justice reforms serve as a significant reason New York City has seen this uptick in crime,” the NYPD said in a press release accompanying the statistics which showed a spike in major crimes by 22.5 percent in February as compared to last year.

The report indicated that a total of 846 crimes in 2020 were committed by 482 people who had already been arrested for committing felonies such as robbery or burglary, the New York Post reported. Of that number, 35 percent – or 299 people – were arrested for crimes falling under the “major” felonies of murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary and grand larceny.  The number is nearly three times the amount for the same time period in 2019.

Before the city’s bail reform law went into effect on January 1, all of the suspects would have been held in jail. But the new law eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies and was expected to lower the number of pretrial detainees.

But the consequences of the liberal law, backed by the state’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have reportedly negatively affected law-abiding residents. Last month, a subway thief arrested an amazing 139 tines for crimes including pickpocketing commuters and jumping subway turnstiles, celebrated the new rules that allowed him to face little punishment for his actions.

While the number of arrests in New York have dropped in the last two months, crime has spiked, as the NYPD posted the increased numbers while noting a drop in reported murder and rape cases.

“Each number presents a victim,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with New Yorkers and our law enforcement partners to zero in on the drivers of crime and deliver justice for the victims.”

According to the New York Post:

There were 16,343 major crimes reported in the first two months of 2020, compared to 13,648 over the same period in 2019 — for an increase of 2,695.

The 299 major crimes by bail-reform beneficiaries comprise 10 percent of the spike — and 1.8 percent of the city’s crime for the year.

Separately, police said more cases are being scrapped before they even get to trial than in previous years.

 

Eleven percent of felony arrests not eligible for bail, or 803 crimes, were reportedly not prosecuted in January and February, an increase from the same period last year when 527 cases were not prosecuted by district attorneys.

Five city defense attorney groups slammed the NYPD for releasing statistics purporting there is a spike in crime, accusing the department of fear-mongering in a statement released earlier this week.

“These numbers starkly contradict claims by the New York Police Department that crime has risen since the new bail law went into effect on January 1, 2020,” the joint statement read.

“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,” the public defenders said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea refuted the accusations.

“They’re wrong,” the Democratic mayor said, according to Politico. “This is such a meticulous organization and it’s being transparent. When people have an ax to grind, from right or left, they attempt to go at the stats. I just don’t buy it.”

“They’ve lost a lot of credibility,” Shea said. “Clearly, the crimes are occurring. We have victims every day that we’re seeing.”

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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