Lawlessness abounds across New York City neighborhoods like the West Village and Greenwich Village, which have seen the largest spike in crime this year out of the five boroughs, according to the latest New York City Police Department report published last week.
Compared to the crime stats from the same time last year, Manhattan’s 6th Precinct saw an 80% increase in overall significant crimes, with burglaries up 119% and grand larcenies up more than 100%.
Business owners and residents have spoken to media outlets airing their frustrations over the lack of law and order in a neighborhood that draws celebrity sitings, historic brownstones, and gentrified taquerias on roofs amid the fashion and arts scene.
Jama Alnasr, who owns Village Revival records in Greenwich Village, told CBS 2 he rarely calls the police anymore because “anything seems to go these days.”
“There are some real criminals in the streets. Let’s face the facts, alright?” business owner Jamal Alnasr said. “We need to enforce some laws a little tougher, I guess.”
According to the latest data, other crime statistics show car thefts are up 39%, robberies reach up to 45%, and rapes are up nearly 43%.
It’s a drag because I don’t even go out at night anymore, and that’s not me,” one resident told CBS 2.
Muhammed Akma, the owner of New University Pen & Stationery on Bleecker Street, told CBS 2 he has grown used to shoplifters.
“Sometimes they come two, three times a day. Sometimes they don’t show up like two, three days, at least once a week, always something happens,” Akmal said.
Anisha Ghale, an employee at Karma Nepal Crafts on Bleeker Street, told the New York Post that they have begun using double-sided tape underneath the jewelry trays to slow down the thieves while committing the crime.
“Crime is increasing day-by-day right now, and they’re becoming really fearless,” she told The Post.
“Like even if we say ‘I’ll call 911’ they don’t care about it,” she said. “They say ‘yeah you can do whatever you want — I don’t care.’ Even if the police come, they take them away, they come after 2 to 3 weeks and do the same thing again,” Ghale said.
Kevin Jackson, the general manager of John’s of Bleecker Street pizzeria, blamed the rise in theft on the city’s new bail reform policy, which allows most larceny suspects to get released without having to post bail or bond.
“This whole bail reform has to go,” Jackson told the New York Post.
“Our biggest issue is with the homeless bothering the customers with the outdoor dining … Some of them do have weapons,” he said. “I had a knife pulled on me about four months ago. It’s a dangerous situation.”
“I don’t even call (the police) anymore, I just to try shoo them away, and they give you a hard time,” Jackson added. “I basically just guide them away from the customers.”
Although the 6th Precinct has seen a massive uptick in crime, other Precincts across the city have seen their fair share of the action.
The New York Post reports that the 1st Precinct, which covers the Financial District, is No. 7 on the list of highest crime increases — with a 65% spike this year. And Wall Street is up to 1,152 compared to the 696 that occurred over the same period last year.
“The criminals know now that they can go into the high price areas and there’s no consequences,” a veteran Manhattan cop told The Post. “So now they can go to the 6th Precinct, the 1st Precinct where the tourists are and it’s the same as being in an higher crimes neighborhood.”
“Why rob someone there when you can rob someone that’s rich and there’s no consequences?,” the officer added.