New York City saw a substantial increase in grand larcenies, burglaries, and other crimes in March 2022 compared to the previous year, even as homicide rates dropped, according to data from the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
Overall crime rose by 36.5 percent in March 2022 compared to March 2021, an April 6 NYPD press release stated. There was a 59.4 percent increase in grand larceny auto, a 48.4 percent rise in robbery, a 40.5 percent spike in grand larceny, and a 40 percent surge in burglaries.
Shooting incidents in the city rose by 16.2 percent during this period, while homicides dropped by 15.8 percent.
NYPD officers made 410 gun arrests in March, bringing the total number of such arrests in the first quarter of 2022 to 1,207. This is the highest number of gun arrests on a quarterly basis since early 2021, when 1,385 arrests were reported. Arrests in March 2022 were 28.2 percent higher than in March 2021.
“The NYPD will continue to provide fair, effective, and responsive policing that best reflects the needs of the communities we serve,” Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in the press release. “But the NYPD needs the steadfast commitment of all its partners, pulling in the same direction, to realize our goal of public safety for every New Yorker.”
One of the most notable arrests in March was that of 30-year-old Gerald Brevard III, the suspect in multiple shootings and murders of homeless people, NBC 4 New York reported.
From March 3–12, 2022, Brevard is alleged to have shot three men in Washington, with one of them succumbing to his injuries. Police said he later injured two more men in New York City, with one ending up dead.
“The recent rise in gun violence remains a concern for us all, and we will do everything in our power to keep our citizens safe because public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a March 15 press release about the arrest.
The first quarter of 2022 has been defined by “successful takedowns of violent subjects and seizure of caches of illegal guns,” the NYPD said in the report. Gun seizures not only included traditional weapons but also emerging ones such as 3D-printed “ghost guns.”
Since January 2022, over 400 officers have been trained for the NYPD’s new neighborhood safety teams. These officers were deployed on March 14, with the first 218 officers making 121 arrests, which included 25 arrests for illegal possession of guns.
The neighborhood safety teams are working in the areas that accounted for 80 percent of the city’s shooting incidents in 2021.
“This is the most dangerous kind of work we do, but it can have the greatest impact on public safety. Our officers are precisely targeting the small number of criminals willing to carry a gun, and to use it,” said Chief of Department Kenneth Corey.
New York City’s crime rate had seen a massive jump in 2021, with the total tally for major crimes exceeding 100,000 incidents for the first time since 2016, the New York Post reported. Felony assaults that year exceeded 22,000 incidents for the first time since 2001.
In 2020, the city had a lower violent crime rate than the national rate according to an analysis by US News & World Report. While the city’s rate of crimes per 100,000 was at 256 that year, other cities such as Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles registered higher crime rates at 366.5 and 444.9 respectively.