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NYC Major Crimes Increased Last Year; Murders Down 11%

Reported murders in New York City last year dropped 11 percent from 2021, but the largest city still recorded an overall increase in major crimes as it grapples with a surge that started during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 126,537 major reported crimes in the five boroughs last year—an increase of 22.4 percent over 2021. The total includes felony assault, robbery, burglary, car theft and grand larceny. Murders dropped 433 from 488—the lowest level since 2019, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mayor Eric Adams, who said he would improve public safety in his 2021 mayoral campaign, said Thursday he was encouraged by the results and said crime was “trending downward.”

“We know we have more to do,” said Adams, a former police officer. “New Yorkers must not only be safe based on the stats, but they must feel safe.” Crime increased across the U.S. during the pandemic. Chicago and Los Angeles also reported declines in the number of homicides, but both cities reported overall increases in major felonies between 2021 and 2022. In Washington, D.C., violent crime fell seven percent last year and property crime also fell, though the 3,761 car thefts in 2022 marked an eight percent increase. New York's Adams said a revival of plainclothes police units helped reduce shootings, with 501 arrests and the seizure of 431 guns. Reported subway crimes were up 40 percent from 2021 levels during the first 11 months of the year, but crime began to drop after a late October surge in patrols. Adams will continue to push for changes to state law that will let trials proceed faster and crack down on repeat offenders. The mayor said a law prohibiting bail for most misdemeanor and nonviolent felonies made it difficult for officers to pursue offenses like shoplifting.

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