the thread where we discuss crime on a citywide basis. — Brooklynian

the thread where we discuss crime on a citywide basis.

http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/4140/violent-crime-wave-is-it-the-heat-is-it-a-wave

Violent Crime Wave: Is It The Heat? Is It A Wave?

The murder rate is up and there was a spate of shootings over the weekend. What's behind the increase in violence?

By Jarrett Murphy
Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010

Reacting to the weekend's violence, Mayor Bloomberg called for a tighter crackdown on illegal guns.

As of the first of August, 44 more people were murdered in 2010 than were killed in the city by that point in 2009.

Over the weekend, at least 20 people were shot in the five boroughs, including those hit at the Harlem block party that left cops and civilians wounded and one man dead.

More Criminal JusticeMayor Bloomberg responded to that shooting by saying, "How much longer are we going as a nation to wait before we get serious about stopping illegal guns from getting into the hands of people who mean to do others harm?"

Indeed, guns kill people, because people with guns kill people. But just a few months ago the administration was pointing to indicators--like the number of "crime guns" seized in the city--that suggest the police are having more success at keeping illegal guns out. Illegal guns are still here, but that's not new.

The increase in the city's murder count has actually slowed during the summer. And many parts of the city are seeing not rising but falling numbers of killings. But the uptick is undeniable. So, what's behind this year's crime surge besides the mere availability of guns?

Potential explanations abound. There are fewer cops on the street (about 8,000 fewer than in 2000). There's the economy: The city has boasted of having broken the link between economic stagnation and crime, and the recession was shorter for New York than for the rest of the country, but some neighborhoods are still suffering.

Then there's the heat.

The summer of 2010 is hotter than average, and there is substantial research linking heat to increased violence. Craig A. Anderson, a psychology professor at Iowa State University and one of the foremost experts on the subject, has written that, "There are about 2.6 percent more murders and assults in the United States during the summer than other seasons of the year; hot summers produce a bigger increase in violence than cooler summers; and violence rates are higher in hotter years than in cooler years."

The homicide database created by The New York Times indicates that from 2003 to 2009, 10 percent of all killings in the city took place in July, a greater share than any other month. January, February and March each accounted for only 7 percent of murders. Research out of Kent State University suggests the heat effect is greatest in the midday and early evening hours.

Of course, heat isn't the only thing that makes summer different from other times of year. People change their routines--kids are out of school, and everyone spends more time outside, so folks live in less structured environments where strangers and enemies are more likely to meet and hurt each other.

Anderson's research finds that even when you control for changes in routine, the summer sees more violent crime (some studies say property crime also increases).

But crime doesn't necessarily keep rising as temperatures rise. There's evidence that once temperatures hit a certain point, crime starts to decline. In crude terms, it gets too hot to commit crimes--or at least to stay out doors where some crimes are more likely to occur. This is called "negative affect escape," and there's a lot of debate about whether it actually occurs.

However, while everyone in New York City is feeling the heat this summer, not every area is feeling the crime wave (measured by murders, which are the least common but most accurately measured crime).

As of August 1, 35 of the city's 76 precincts had seen an increase in homicide. The largest percentage increases were in the 114th precinct in Astoria and the 25th in East Harlem; both have seven murders so far this year, a 600 percent rise over 2009. But the more alarming increases are in the 75th precinct, which covers East New York and has suffered 20 slayings so far compared to 12 by this time last year, and the 47th precinct in the Yankee Stadium area, with 16 killings versus nine in 2009.

Meanwhile, 27 precincts have seen a decrease and 14 have the same number of murders as at this time last year. Some of the decreases are substantial: Flatbush's 71st precinct, for one, had eight murders through August 1, 2009 and had only two by the start of August this year.

As of August 1, 13 of the city's precincts had reported no murders in 2010; only 11 precincts could claim that distinction at this time last summer.

The variations from precinct to precinct contribute to a citywide murder level that, while higher than last year's, isn't rising as fast now as it did this winter. Through March 26, New York City's murder count was 22 percent higher in 2010 than in 2009. Now it's only 17 percent higher.

Comments

  • And plant robberies have increased too :evil:
  • it's the economy + heat. whatever the press says about a shorter recession in NYC...keep in mind that the "unemployment rate" does not count those who stopped looking for work. U3 vs. U6.

    nyc hates the poors.
  • I worry that the current climate, social and economic as well as weather, will lead to a rise in crime in the coming years. The economy has left the city and state governments short of money and unable to enhance the police force in any significant way. And high unemployment may increase the number of desperate people. The performance of the NYC police force has been nothing short of remarkable, especially since 9/11. But, when you combine the shortage of cops on the streets with the force’s dual role in anti-terrorism you will inevitably have fewer resources dedicated to “normal” urban crime fighting. If you believe the broken window theory of urban crime, where quickly addressing small-petty crimes can deter larger crimes down the road, then we may have a pipeline of crime quickly building. With increased frequency I see new graffiti and other property damage in areas where previously it was largely absent. Effectively deterring this sort of activity has been credited with the precipitous drop in crime since the early 1990s. This is perhaps over-simplified, but worrisome none-the-less.
  • I believe it is tied to WHO is employed, not just the raw number of unemployed.

    ....most of the stats are stating that this recession is disproportionately affecting those between 18 and 25. These are the same folks most likely to decide crime is a quick way to make some quick cash.

    (when the 35 year old woman is unemployed, it just doesn't carry the same risk)
  • good point why. i hadn't thought about that.
  • Yeah, the heat. That's it. Bought and paid for loser Mayor Bloomberg is a good reason why crime is up. Anyone remember Dinkins? Another low class loser.

    A glimpse of Dodge City



    The details of Sunday morning's wild shootout in Harlem still aren't to tally clear, but this much is certain: New York can't afford to see such incidents become as frequent as they once were.

    Alas, a spate of recent legislative actions and court decisions threaten to return this city to the days when criminals seemed to rule the streets -- and New Yorkers feared for their lives.

    We now know that the late-night block party at Lenox Aveue and East 144th Street turned deadly when two men with criminal records -- one of whom was carrying an illegal gun -- got into a fight

    Luis Soto apparently pulled the gun on Angel Alvarez, who wrested it away and fired. The gunshots drew both uniformed and plainclothes cops to the scene; when Alvarez fired at an officer, the others responded with a volley of 46 shots.

    One police bullet killed Soto; Alvarez absorbed 21 shots, but survived.

    Two decades ago, such Wild West scenes were hardly a rare sight -- which is why ordinary, law-abiding New Yorkers were terrified to walk the streets.

    Since then, aggressive policing and common-sense policies at City Hall have brought violent crime to record lows.

    But recent months have seen dangerous upticks: Shootings are especially on the rise in the Manhattan North precinct, comprising Harlem and Washington Heights, and in Brooklyn North, which includes East Flatbush, East New York, Brownsville, Bed-Stuy and Bushwick.

    Yet despite these warning signs, some would curb the police's ability to enforce the law. One new state law, for example, forcing cops to ditch a database of suspects halted under stop-and-frisk, is sure to send crime rates higher.

    And there are those out to end stop-and-frisk entirely -- despite its proven use as a vital law-enforcement tool.

    The days when New York resembled Dodge City are still just an unhappy memory. Yet that's why incidents like Sunday's shootout command attention -- because they remain so rare.

    What too many forget is that can change -- quickly.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/glimpse_of_dodge_city_gu9J82oJreaqki5jmf63SO#ixzz0wQz8dLHi
  • Water Ice wrote: With increased frequency I see new graffiti and other property damage in areas where previously it was largely absent. Effectively deterring this sort of activity has been credited with the precipitous drop in crime since the early 1990s. This is perhaps over-simplified, but worrisome none-the-less.
    While political forces certainly took credit for the drop in crime in NYC since the early 1990s, sociologists have now tracked that crime into South Jersey:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/american-murder-mystery/6872/

    Turns out it was just a result of poor people being forced out of the City by gentrification. The crime moved with them.

    It's not as easy to get rid of as Giuliani claimed.
  • Thanks krowonhill. The findings presented in this article are disturbing, but probably don't entirely account for the amazing reduction in crime experienced in NYC. Certainly some of the reduction is the result of aggressive and organized policing. Otherwise, areas such as Brownsville, formerly a high crime area which has remained poor and had virtually no gentrification, would not have seen such a precipitous fall in crime levels during the past 15 years. One can say this about many other NYC neighborhoods as well. Nonetheless, gentrification has played a role, as people are pushed out into less expensive areas. If, however, the effects of gentrification were so highly correlated (or deterministic), then you would expect to have seen a similar reduction in crime rates in cities like D.C., but that hasn't happened (at least not to the extent of that experienced by NYC). The same can be said about changes in demographics (fewer unwanted births, higher educational attainment, high prison populations, etc). The NYC police force is highly effective, and can claim at least some responsibility for the performance of the last 15 years.
  • eggcream/NYPost wrote: Yet despite these warning signs, some would curb the police's ability to enforce the law. One new state law, for example, forcing cops to ditch a database of suspects halted under stop-and-frisk, is sure to send crime rates higher.

    And there are those out to end stop-and-frisk entirely -- despite its proven use as a vital law-enforcement tool.
    One of the many fundamental flaws with this viewpoint is that cops aren't stopping "suspects", as the NYP tries to claim. They're stopping everyone (who's poor and non-white). Which engenders acrimony (to say the least) between the police and the community they need to rely on in order to make a difference. People stop trusting the police in their community, and rightfully so.

    Excessive policing and treating everyone like a criminal (which is what stop and frisk does) doesn't lower crime. In fact many studies come out showing quite the opposite, especially among non-violent and simple drug offenders.
    ...is sure to send crime rates higher.
    This is pure conjecture and quite typical of people who think that throwing police, jail sentences and stop-and-frisk at a problem makes it go away, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
  • Water Ice wrote: Thanks krowonhill. The findings presented in this article are disturbing, but probably don't entirely account for the amazing reduction in crime experienced in NYC. Certainly some of the reduction is the result of aggressive and organized policing. Otherwise, areas such as Brownsville, formerly a high crime area which has remained poor and had virtually no gentrification, would not have seen such a precipitous fall in crime levels during the past 15 years. One can say this about many other NYC neighborhoods as well. Nonetheless, gentrification has played a role, as people are pushed out into less expensive areas. If, however, the effects of gentrification were so highly correlated (or deterministic), then you would expect to have seen a similar reduction in crime rates in cities like D.C., but that hasn't happened (at least not to the extent of that experienced by NYC). The same can be said about changes in demographics (fewer unwanted births, higher educational attainment, high prison populations, etc). The NYC police force is highly effective, and can claim at least some responsibility for the performance of the last 15 years.
    Water Ice,

    My read on this is that, as crime in gentrifying areas dropped, the City had more resources to put towards areas that didn't benefit from that progression. That is, the NYPD and other institutions have been effective all along, but their effectiveness was overwhelmed by the scope of crime in earlier decades. Regardless, it's good to know that something can be done about crime, whether or not the resources are there.

    Krow
  • Folks in the field of mental health and sociology attribute such changes to breaking the Neighborhood Cycle of Violence.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=cycle+of+violence&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=g2g-c1g3g-c1g1g-c2&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    Once said cycle is broken, and violence is not commonplace, the society makes gains in many areas.

    The police, the economy, and many other factors are credited/blamed for breaking or enacting such cycles
  • latest repots show NYC crime on the rise

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/09/17/2011-09-17_2crime17m.html

    related news in same article?

    The number of kids who landed summer youth jobs plummeted by 31%, from 52,255 in 2010 to 35,725 last year.
  • The data for 2010 is in, and it states that there was about the same amount of crime recorded in 2011 as there was in 2010.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/a-flat-year-overall-for-crime-in-new-york/

    ...of course, if you were a violent crime victim in 2011, it probably sucks the same amount, regardless of how many other people were victims.

    Do you think we will have more, or less, crime recorded in 2012?

  • More jabbering on how attributing decreases (or increases) in the crime rate to just a few factors is not sound:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/no-murders-in-new-york-2012-11#ixzz2E1lbEv4u

  • We seem really fascinated by the murder count. ...Less attention is paid to robberies, assaults and other crimes:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/AP4e2fd48c55974c3ba254b5c4cba62308.html?mod=WSJ_NY_LEFTAPHeadlines

    Regardless, 2012 was a very safe year to be living in NYC.

  • so what is the rape and violent crimes rate compare to previous years?

  • If you go back several years, just about all rates are down. If you only go back to last year, some rates are up.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cscity.pdf

    In my view, crime is something that is best looked at over the course of several years. For example, I don't find it worthwhile to just compare 2011 to 2012. The above link provides a start to a broader analysis.

  • There were two shootings in three weeks on a popular and "safe" area - Fulton street between clinto nand Vanderbilt. Both were random, one at least (the one that happened early this Sunday morning and was fatal) involved a drunk person leaving the club on Fulton that is always filled with people who then like to drunk-fight and scream on the streets from 2-5 am. Explain this?

  • Often (but not always..) the perpretators have criminogenic needs (i.e. risk factors) in common. This short article provides a summary of the major ones:

    http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FederalCourts/PPS/Fedprob/2006-09/accountability.html

  • Right - but the two shootings on Fulton seem like a red flag re: the safety of the "new Brooklyn."

  • I think you will need more instances to be able to convince people in power that there is a pattern that should be paid attention to.

    Then, there is the problem of "what should (and can) they do?"

    When prodded, the police can be pretty good at reducing crime in hot spots. However, they are not so powerful that they can make East New York have the same crime rate as the Upper East Side.

    P.S. Related reading http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130107/new-york-city/bronx-da-falls-behind-rest-of-city-fighting-crime-report-shows

This discussion has been closed.