Given that NYC is the biggest tourist destination in the nation it would be very troubling if there was a crime wave going on but the figures show that crime generally in the City is still trending down as it is everywhere in the western world. It’s already lower by 10% this year than last year. However the same is not true of the homicide rate.
In 2014 NYC had 333 murders a historic low, the lowest since the 1950′s. And comparatively NYC’s homicide rate puts it well below most large USA citites. Out of a list of 14 large citites, NYC, despite being the largest city by a huge amount was 11th on the list, with 10 citites with a higher per capita homicide rate and only San Diego, San Jose and Austin have a lower per capita rate.
What has everyone talking about homicides in NYC though is the sudden increase, comparatively since last year. Despite a run of ‘no murder days’ in February the current number of homicides are currently up by 16%. No one is sure why though it is known that the majority are gang and drug related and that there is an increase in domestic violence incidents. Most homicides happen in the Bronx and East New York Brooklyn and the least in Staten Island and Northern Manhattan.
From the point of view of most New Yorkers and visitors the overall picture is of steadily declining rates of crime with no evidence yet that the current uptick in the number of homicides means anything more than the sudden downtick in February. In other words it’s a statistical anomaly at this stage. Because homices get a let of press, quite rightly, it’s easy to not look at the broader picture and the broader picture is that NYC is enjoying historically low homicide and crime rate, lower than most USA cities. And for that we should be very thankful