Even Gotham’s criminals appear to be self-isolating amid coronavirus fears — crime dropped precipitously over the last week since schools and businesses were ordered closed and residents were asked to minimize time in public, NYPD data shows.
Major felonies plummeted 17 percent between March 16 — the day after Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered schools closed to prevent the spread of contagion — and March 22, compared to the same period last year, according to NYPD data.
That’s a stark reversal considering the city experienced a surge in crime for the first two months of the year compared to 2019.
But all crime categories saw a marked dip over the last week, according to NYPD numbers:
- Grand larceny was down 31% with 517 reported so far this year, compared to 753 last year.
- Rape and other sex crimes were both down, 69% and 43%, respectively.
- Felony assault was down nearly 9% and misdemeanor assault down was 21%.
“It is a combination of individuals heeding the advice to stay home and [distancing] themselves from other people,” said NYPD Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice, founder of Blue Lives MattersNYC.
The only notable increase in the major seven crimes — murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto — was in stolen cars.
Thirty-five more vehicles were reported stolen this year, marking a 52% increase from the same week last year.
Cops appear to be practicing social distancing too: Officers made 1,800 fewer arrests over the last seven days and wrote nearly 10,000 fewer tickets compared to the same period last year, according to department statistics.
Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association, said the numbers show how police “priorities are different right now.”
“Nobody is paying attention to the little stuff. Focus on the big stuff. Not really focused on doing car stops,” he said.
Last week, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea pledged cops had “no intention of strategically cutting enforcement during this coronavirus outbreak.”
The reductions in recent crime aren’t enough to offset gains over the year. Crime remains up by more than 17 percent overall for the year.
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