Posted on November 20, 2020

Shootings in New York City Nearly Double as Arrests for Serious Crimes Fall

Ben Chapman, Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2020

Shootings in New York City have nearly doubled this year, New York Police Department officials said Tuesday, while arrests for major crimes have plummeted.

From Jan 1. through Sunday, the city has recorded 1,359 shootings, an increase of nearly 95% from the 698 in the same period last year, according to NYPD data. The number of shooting victims rose to 1,667 from 828.

Meanwhile, arrests for major crimes have fallen by nearly 13%, driven by drops for every major category except burglaries, car thefts and gun-related crimes, according to the data. Arrests for crimes involving guns are up nearly 19% this year, the data showed.


According to NYPD officials, the year-over-year increase in shootings and murders is more pronounced than any in more than two decades. Murders in the city rose more than 37%, with 405 reported between Jan. 1 and Sunday, compared with 295 in the same period in 2019.


Criminologists, police and law-enforcement officials have cited various factors for the city’s rise in violent crimes, including a backlogged court system, changes to bail laws and a decrease in the numbers of arrests.

NYPD officials have blamed the drop in arrests on a shortage of officers caused by dramatic increases in officers calling in sick amid the pandemic, as well as staffing cuts due to reductions to the department’s budget. {snip}