Major crimes surge in New York City

New York City got off to a violent start in 2020.  New NYPD data show a concerning spike in serious crimes this year, something department officials attribute to the state’s new bail reform laws. 

Five of seven incidents in the ‘major crimes’ category surged starting at the beginning of this year through Sunday, February 2.

The NYPD recorded a 27.3% increase in shooting incidents. The number of shooting victims grew at an even higher pace, up 40.7% compared to the same time period last year.

Robberies rose by nearly 35%, burglaries by about 18%, grand larcenies by more than 10% and felony assaults by 8.5%.  

The biggest surge of all was auto thefts. They went up 70% in 2020. That’s about 20 incidents a day.

On the bright side, murders and rapes dipped last month, down roughly 19% and 18% respectively.


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New York’s bail reform law took effect on January 1, and many are drawing a parallel to the alarming crime uptick city-wide including NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.


Last week he said, “If you let out individuals that commit a lot of crime, that’s precision policing in reverse and we’re seeing the effects in a very quick time, and that is why we’re so concerned.”

Governor Cuomo, who signed the bill into law himself last year, called it an ‘ongoing process’ last month, suggesting it could be amended in the coming weeks.

One major amendment could be over State judge’s abilities to set bail conditions based on a defendant’s danger to the community. Federal judges can set bail conditions but their New York State counterparts are not allowed under the new state law.