This Week in the Mayonnaise Clinic: Crime in New York Really Is Way Up
Plus: Does Josh only cook "white people food"?
It’s time for the Mayonnaise Clinic! Let’s dig into the jar.
I know you’re in Fire Island a lot, but you generally seem like a level-headed Manhattanite, so… what are your thoughts on the vibe in the city these days — particularly in light of the crime “epidemic” that has so much traction — and what are your thoughts on how that vibe, and life here in general, will play out going forward?
I don’t know exactly what it means for there to be a crime “epidemic,” but it’s certainly true that New York City has experienced a sharp increase in major crimes since the pandemic started. Here are some figures.
This year, through August 28, New York City has recorded 928 shooting incidents. That’s slightly improved from the same period in 2020 and 2021, but it’s about 75% higher than the rate of shootings that we experienced through late August in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
There have been 282 murders so far this year, which is 38% higher than the average from 2017-19, but also a modest improvement from 2021 and 2020.
In 2020 and 2021, it had been the case that reports of other major crimes (except auto thefts) were about flat or falling, even as murders and shootings were rising, but that’s not true anymore this year. As activity has returned to the city, there has been a sharp rise in reported burglaries, robberies, grand larcenies, and felony assaults, and as a result the city has recorded more major crimes so far this year than in any year since when I moved to New York in 2005, even though the murder rate is (so far) a little lower than last year’s.
The total of just over 82,000 major crimes through August 28 constitutes a 34% increase compared to the same period in 2019.
Now of course, as you can see on those charts, it all used to be a lot worse. But I don’t understand why people think that is supposed to be a satisfying talking point. Yeah, it used to be a lot worse, and then it got a lot better, and now we’ve lost a decent chunk of that progress.