New York City experienced its worst January for serious crime in five years, according to NYPD data set for release Tuesday and expected to show an ongoing spike that department officials attribute to the state's new bail reform law.
The latest Compstat data through Feb. 2, shows that total overall serious felonies — such as homicide, burglary, robbery and auto theft — are up 16.4% over the same period in 2019. The increase is 6% when compared to 2015, the data shows.
After years of steady declines in crime, the city has seen double digit increases in burglaries, grand larcenies and auto theft — the latter up 70% over 2019 — since Jan. 1. Robberies and felonious assaults saw single digit increases. A positive trend within the data shows homicides down nearly 20% since the same period last year and a decrease in rapes by 18%, according to the latest data.
In January, serious felonies citywide continued to rise throughout the month. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea is scheduled to talk about the overall upward trend Tuesday during his monthly crime briefing. He is again expected to call on the legislature in Albany to tinker with the bail law, which took effect Jan. 1. The new law eliminates bail for most nonviolent crimes.
Crime across the city and in the borough of Queens jumped significantly in the first month of 2020 — which top NYPD brass attributes to bail reform.
Major crimes spiked 20 percent in the first 26 days of the year in Patrol Borough Queens North — which includes Long Island City, Sunnyside, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Ridgewood, Forest Hills and Flushing — as compared to the same period in 2019.
There were 758 serious crimes from Jan. 1 through Jan. 26, 2020 in Queens North; up from 629 during the same period in 2019, according to NYPD data.
Major crimes climbed 31 percent for the same 26-day period from the year prior in Patrol Borough
Queens South — which includes the Rockaways, Jamaica, Queens Village and south. There were 712 crimes committed from Jan. 1 through Jan. 26, 2020; up from 543 in 2019, according to NYPD data.
Days before a new civilian patrol was set to begin in the neighborhood, a 60-year-old man was robbed and severely beaten in broad daylight in the Cityline section of Ozone Park that borders on Brooklyn.
Graphic photos of the victim, Shahab Uddin, bleeding profusely from the face, posted on Facebook sparked residents to call an emergency meeting of the Ozone Park Residents Block Association this week to deal with what they are characterizing as a neighborhood “crime wave.”
“The brutality of this crime really got to me,” Sam Esposito, head of the OPRBA and a former police officer, told the Chronicle.
Uddin was walking home from Liberty Avenue on 76th Street at around 11 a.m. Sunday when he was attacked from behind by a lone assailant who beat him and stole his cell phone and wallet, his family said.
He has been hospitalized since then, unconscious with severe facial wounds and bruises, according to Esposito.
It is the second time in three months someone in the largely Bangladeshi community near the border with Brooklyn has been badly beaten in an unprovoked attack.
In November, a man on his way to work was set upon by a group of young men at the elevated A-train station at Liberty Avenue and 80th Street, a few blocks from the site of Sunday’s assault.
That attack spawned a neighborhood rally that drew several hundred people to protest what was called poor police coverage in a crime-prone section of Ozone Park.
Crime has “been going up over the last 18 months and we knew it,” said Esposito.
The most recent crime stats seem to bear him out.
In January, when crime citywide rose sharply, the 106th Precinct — which covers Ozone Park and Howard Beach — saw robberies jump 58 percent over last year. Felonious assaults were up 57 percent.
Although the bail reform laws are a major factor in this precipitous rise in crime, the New Bad Days have been here for quite some time.