Do you remember the bloody year of 1999? I don't. But the FBI says the number of murders in New York City rose 6 percent that year. How about scary 2006, when the number of killings jumped 10.6 percent? Do you recall the fear with which we all tiptoed through 2008, when the city saw a 5 percent rise in slayings? Don't get that mixed up with 2010, when the city reported a 14 percent increase in murders.Maybe it's good we've become less tolerant of crime increases. And maybe the sky will start to fall. But it's not falling yet.
Somehow, "Bloody Ninety-Nine" didn't smudge Rudy Giuliani's reputation as America's greatest crimefighter. Nor did the four increases in the annual murder count during Michael Bloomberg's 12 years in office dent his image as a cool and competent manager. In fact, none of these significant spikes in bloodshed triggered the kind of public concern about crime now gripping columnists and some elected officials.
Indeed, if de Blasio is guilty of politicizing the actual crime statistics, it's mainly because his opponents are guilty of politicizing the imaginary crime stats they derive from news headlines, gut instinct and their pre-written narrative that de Blasio is really just John Lindsay standing on his tip-toes.
September 24, 2015
Crime is/isn't up!
Jarret Murphy over at City Limits points out that crime has increased plenty of times in NYC in the past 15 years. And nobody really raised an alarm. This year it's not even clear that crime is up, despite news accounts saying so. So there's this a narrative of crime being out of control: Murders are up 5 percent!!! (Maybe a bit more after a bloody weekend.) But 5 percent is pretty statistically minor. And we are coming off a record low year.