By Carol Tannenhauser
Every aspect of normal life has slowed down for most Upper West Siders since the city shut down in mid-March. That even includes crime.
The commanders of the neighborhood’s two police precincts said they’re seeing much less criminal activity in nearly every category they track on a year-over-year basis.
There was a 42% drop in the overall number of crimes committed in the 20th Precinct, which covers 59th to 86th Streets. In the 24th Precinct, which covers the north side of 86th to 110th Streets, there was a drop of 5.2%.
The 20th Precinct was down or the same in all of the major crimes categories, including murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, petit larceny, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto.
“I can tell you, with no reservations, that crime is down,” wrote Captain Neil Zuber, the 20th Precinct’s commander. “I’d love for the NYPD to be able to take all the credit for that, but I think the current crisis is playing a role. In the 20th Precinct, which is all I can speak definitively about in every aspect, we are down across the board in crime categories compared to this period last year. As you know, we were having a rough few months leading up to the current status quo, so the decrease seems even more dramatic than it actually is. Other parts of the city, including precincts here in Manhattan North, are experiencing increases in individual crime categories, but the overall trend is down.”
In the 24th Precinct — covering the North side of 86th to 110th — certain categories of crimes were up from last year, including burglary, which rose a whopping 1,000%. In real numbers that means 11 burglaries up from one. (A burglary occurs when someone enters a building illegally with the intent to commit a crime.)
“Burglaries are up due to a low number last year,” explained Deputy Inspector Naoki Yaguchi, commander of the 24th. “Historically, the 11 burglaries in the last 4 weeks are down compared to 2 years ago (14) and up compared to 3 years ago (8).
DI Yaguchi broke the burglaries down as follows:
4 are commercial establishments
2 on Broadway
2 on Amsterdam Ave.
All incidents occurring on the midnight (shift)
6 are residential locations
1 was a residential location under construction
The other are package thefts – basically people breaking into lobbies and stealing people’s packages
“The other concern we have are e-bike thefts,” DI Yaguchi continued. “We have seen a number of e-bike thefts, specifically from delivery people. Also in the last 4 weeks, we did have 2 incidents on March 29 and April 1 where shots were fired but nobody was injured in the Douglass Housing Projects. The involved parties have been identified and a number of arrests have been made.”
He concluded with a warning: “We would like people to be careful about their packages as we are seeing an increase in package thefts from lobby/common areas of buildings. I think it would be helpful for people to retrieve their packages as soon as they get a notification of delivery and to not let people they do not know into their buildings.”
The slides below show the latest stats for each precinct. Click on each to enlarge.