At The Village Voice, Graham Rayman takes a comprehensive look at the crime stats in our "crime-free" city, particularly at the 9th Precinct and LES... Here are some excerpts from his article:
Compared to the high-crime years of the late '80s and early '90s, the Lower East Side has far fewer serious reported crimes, according to police statistics. Of the four precincts, only the 9th Precinct showed an overall increase in crime last year, with increases in assault, grand larceny, and rape, and a big jump in burglary. The 5th, 7th, and 13th precincts, meanwhile, all showed overall declines.
On the other hand, comparing 2008 to 2009, there were some increases here and there. Felony assaults in the 7th Precinct jumped by 40 percent last year. Grand larcenies increased, as did rapes. Assaults in the 5th Precinct were up compared to 2007. And the 13th Precinct saw a rise in burglaries.
The number of neighborhood kids 15 or younger sent to the city juvenile justice system rose from 38 in 2008 to 54 in 2009. Typically, about half of those admissions were on robbery or assault charges.
The Voice also obtained misdemeanor arrest numbers for the four precincts, which show overall increases from 2006 to 2008 — largely fueled by jumps in burglary and larceny offenses, along with a significant increase in low-level marijuana busts.
For example, misdemeanor arrests in the 9th Precinct jumped by almost 25 percent between 2006 and 2008, largely as a result of burglary and theft cases. Misdemeanor arrests in the 5th Precinct rose by about 20 percent, largely on theft offenses.
Overall, the numbers present a picture of relative order compared to the bad old days. But if you ask around the neighborhood, you'll find a pretty strong perception that things have worsened over the past year, particularly as a result of these loosely organized groups of teens and young men who identify with a given public housing project or city block.
"We certainly saw an upsurge in the past couple of years of the presence of gangs," says Matthew Guldin, a lifelong educator who retired as dean of students for a Lower East Side high school last June. "You knew it was there. I think some of it has to do with the economic downturn. The crisis always comes first in the poorest neighborhoods. With fewer jobs available for teens, parents being laid off, and schools and community agencies losing funding, there are fewer positive options available to engage teenagers during the after-school hours. And I think YouTube, MySpace, texting, the communications technology, exacerbates it."
Previously on EV Grieve:
9th Precinct sees slight increase in overall crime for year; 74 of 76 NYC police precincts see lower numbers
The Post notes a "90 PERCENT SURGE IN BURGLARIES" in the East Village
In response to recent violence in the East Village: Alphabet City Neighbors