The NYPD accentuated the positive in its September crime statistics report by touting a record number of gun arrests during the month. Even so, shootings across New York City had also doubled from the previous year, continuing a violent summertime trend into the fall.
Police reported 152 shooting incidents citywide in September 2020 — a 127% spike from the 67 shootings that occurred 12 months earlier. That surge helped account for a 91% increase in shootings citywide between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 of this year.
Correlating with the shooting spike was another increase in murders, with 51 incidents last month — up from just 29 homicides recorded in September 2019.
Meanwhile, NYPD officers also made 607 gun arrests in September 2020 — the highest monthly total recorded since the department launched its CompStat crime tracking program in 1994. Year to date, 2,801 gun arrests have been made by the department — up 7% for the year.
Law enforcement officials explained that officers refocused their efforts “on the drivers of serious crime and taking illegal firearms off the streets.”
At the same time, the NYPD lost 2,500 officers due to attrition and budget-related cutbacks which eliminated a police academy class and pared the overtime budget.
“Despite the unparalleled challenges they face every day, our officers continue to engage with the community and zero in on the drivers of crime,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said. “I thank the men and women of the NYPD who work relentlessly, day-in and day-out, to keep New Yorkers in every neighborhood safe. We will continue to address crime upticks and work in close partnership with the residents we are sworn to serve.”
Overall crime for September 2020 jumped by 2.4%, with a total of 8,952 major crimes (murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny, auto thefts) reported. Burglaries spiked by 37.6% (1,255 incidents) and auto thefts ballooned by 70.5% (977 total incidents) — some of the highest totals for these categories in recent memory.
Meanwhile, robbery, assault and grand larceny each fell by 11.2%, 6.3% and 6.8%, respectively.
Rapes were also down 19.2%, with 139 incidents reported — but the NYPD believes the crime is being underreported. Anyone who is a sex crime victim should call the NYPD Special Victims Division 24-hour hotline at 212-267-RAPE.
While shootings surged, crime int he transit system plunged by 51.5% in September — with 113 incidents reported. That comes as the MTA continues to slowly recover from a 90% plunge in ridership in March and April, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, hate crimes had dropped by 33% year to date, police reported.