NYC Experienced Highest Serious Crime Rates in 20 Years Despite Mayor Adams Claiming ‘Crime is Down’

By: Georgia | Published: Apr 04, 2024

According to data obtained by The Post from the NYPD, New York City has experienced a significant rise in serious crime, reaching levels not seen in nearly two decades. 

Despite Mayor Eric Adams’ assertions that “crime is down” in the city, the numbers reflect a different reality. This increase in crime rates has occurred for the second consecutive year under Mayor Adams’ administration, indicating a trend that contradicts the mayor’s public statements.

Assaults Reach Historical High

The surge in crime has been particularly pronounced in the category of assaults, which neared 28,000 incidents for the first time in New York City’s publicly recorded history. 

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This data comes from the NYPD’s rolling report, which monitors seven major felony offenses from the time of arrest to the final decision by district attorneys on the severity of charges. The dramatic increase in assaults contributes significantly to the overall crime rate in the city.

Understanding the Crime Report Process

The process of reporting crime in New York City involves tracking seven major felony offenses. 

A white NYPD Chevrolet police truck with 'POLICE' and 'EMERGENCY SERVICE' text on the side is parked on a city street

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The NYPD’s report is dynamic, capturing changes in charges from misdemeanors to felonies based on the evolving conditions of victims and further investigation. This method provides a comprehensive view of the city’s crime landscape.

Mayor Adams' Focus on Violent Crimes

Mayor Adams, a moderate Democrat and former police captain, has placed emphasis on reducing violent crimes in New York City. 

Mayor Adams stands behind a podium in a room with blue walls and a city's seal

Source: NYCMayor/X

His administration has claimed successes in these areas, citing double-digit percentage reductions. Additionally, Adams has advocated for a stronger criminal justice system, including measures to combat recidivism and reform bail policies, despite facing challenges from the broader Democratic establishment.

Political Challenges in Crime Reduction

Adams’ efforts to curb crime have been met with resistance from state and local legislative bodies. Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, said “Adams is a victim of Albany as are the rest of New Yorkers.” 

Mayor Adams in a white shirt and blue cap stands at a wooden podium, addressing an audience. He appears to be mid-speech and looks off to the side

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The mayor’s initiatives, including his stance on the “How Many Stops” policing bill, have been hindered by political dynamics beyond his control, impacting his ability to effectively address the city’s crime rates.

Premature Victory Claims

Despite an initial report of a decrease in crime rates at the end of 2023, NYPD’s rolling report later showed an increase in the number of major crimes. 

A moving NYPD police SUV with flashing red and blue lights is captured in a blurred motion on a city street

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This adjustment highlights the complexity of crime reporting and the premature nature of earlier claims of success in reducing crime. 


A Record High in Crime Numbers

The total number of seven major crimes reported in 2023, after accounting for approximately 430 upgrades, reached 127,111, marking the highest totals since 2006. 

Two NYPD officers in standard blue uniforms stand on the stone steps of a building with large, ornate doors and marble columns

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This indicates a continued rise in crime rates for the second year in a row, contrary to earlier claims of reductions in crime levels.


The Debate Over Crime Perception

Mayor Adams has suggested that the issue of rising crime is partly a “perception problem,” arguing that there is a disparity between the public’s perception of safety and the actual crime statistics. 

Mayor Eric Adams, dressed in a white shirt and black trousers, holds a microphone and addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting

Source: NYCMayor/X

This stance has sparked discussion about the relationship between crime rates and public sentiment, with Adams emphasizing the need to align public perception with the realities of crime in the city.


Crime Reductions in Specific Categories

While the overall crime rates have increased, there have been noted reductions in certain categories of crime, including several types of violent crimes.

A group of NYPD officers in full uniform and helmets stand beside a line of parked NYPD motorcycles

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These decreases highlight areas where the city has made progress, though the overall crime landscape remains challenging.


Concerns Over Underreporting of Crimes

City Councilman Bob Holden expressed concerns that the actual situation on the streets is much worse than reported statistics suggest. 

A marked NYPD patrol car is parked in the bustling Times Square. The area is vibrant with large electronic billboards displaying advertisements

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He mentioned that many New Yorkers have stopped reporting crimes due to a lack of faith in the criminal justice system, indicating that the official crime rates may not fully capture the extent of the problem.


Car Thefts on the Rise

The data from April 2 shows an increase in felony assaults and car thefts, contributing to the overall rise in crime. 

A street in an urban area with multiple traffic signs including 'One Way' and 'Stop' signs. Parked vehicles line the side of the road, and a yellow taxi is visible in the background

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Felony assaults alone saw a 6.7% jump to 27,951 incidents, marking the highest level since before 2000. Car thefts also experienced a significant increase, underscoring the varied nature of the crime wave affecting the city.


Mayor Adams Stands Firm on Crime Strategy

Despite the challenges, Mayor Adams remains committed to his strategy for combating crime, insisting that his administration’s efforts are making a difference. 

Mayor Eric Adams, in a gray suit, speaks at a podium. His expression is serious, and he's gesturing with his hand as if explaining a point. To his right, two men and a woman, possibly officials or aides, stand attentively. One of the men is in an NYPD uniform adorned with badges and insigni

Source: NYCMayor/X

He has repeatedly emphasized the importance of public safety to the city’s prosperity. The mayor’s office asserts that New York City is safer now than before his tenure, highlighting the ongoing efforts to reduce crime and improve public safety.