The crime wave that continues to drown Far Rockaway in fear and frustration is the end result of the perfect storm of neglect. Resource starvation, governmental apathy and planned gentrification have further destabilized the tenuous existence of thousands of families on the peninsula. The fact, supported by statistics, is that violence has been out of control in Far Rockaway for several years. The rest of the city just didn't hear or care about it.
City's abandonment at root of Far Rockaway's violence
In spite of public perception, Far Rockaway is a community of families. Generations that have lived on the peninsula, and have no desire or plan to evacuate. There are families that have endured decades of deprivation, yet have found ways not just to survive, but also to thrive. This is not a community that willingly accepts violence. This is a community victimized by the violence and demanding an end to it. There have been and continue to be forums, workshops and meetings discussing ways to end the violence. The missing component has been the interest of the city and the resources that are delivered to more affluent and politically-connected communities. This is a community under siege, underserved and invisible to the rest of the city.
Far Rockaway, with its oversaturation of housing developments, has long been treated as the city's toss-away location. The violence in Far Rockaway is the manifestation of unconscionable benign neglect.
Photo from NY Times