You’ve all probably heard it by now. New York crime has been on the rise. Most New Yorkers know this and feel it everyday. They may not be able to tell you with absolute certainty the rates or which crimes in particular have gone up, but they know must assuredly crime is up. They know it because their peripheral vision has been sharpened and they are constantly scanning the area around them.
Yet, the data is actually mixed. Lets dissect for a moment. Three quarters of New Yorkers in a February Bloomberg report said crime was a “very serious” problem and that’s the highest number since the question was first asked in 1999, when the murder rate per capita was actually 50% higher. It was more da gerous in the 90s. However, what gets us is that NYC had the safest big city. We had seen homocides and other crimes go down. Thus, this increase from an all-time low jars us mentally and physically. And, you cannot discount or minimize perception and feelings of fear.
Just yesterday, widely reported in the local news was a story of a guy uses a hatchet in a McDonald’s in NYC. Ironically, he noted he was carrying a hatchet because he felt unsafe in the city. I don’t know about his motivations. I will tell you this. I love wearing dresses. You hardly ever catch me in anything but a dress. Yet yesterday, when I put on a pretty green dress for a beautiful fall day in New York, I put on a pair of jeans underneath it because I had to get on the subway. I was using and wearing my jeans as protection against harrasment. It’s sad that I had to think that way.
Now that the pandemic is ostensibly over, people are returning to normal life. Walking to work. Going to an office. Well, that’s still in flux and probably forever changed. Using public transportation including the subway which is a transportation system seemingly riddled with crime.
I want my old New York back. And, I bet millions of others do as well.