28.1.20

Robbery is up almost 30% in NYC since new bail laws went into effect

Robbery is up almost 30% in New York City since the first of the year. Is this a statistical blip, a trend — or a New Year’s bail-reform gift from Albany, robbery now largely being a revolving-door offense in the Empire State?

Time will tell, but consider this as well: According to the latest NYPD stats, the number of shooting victims in the city is up 31% since New Year’s Day — so at the very least Gotham appears to be off to a rocky 2020 compared to last year.


Which should not surprise: Not only does government usually get more of what it encourages, when it comes to crime, it also gets more of what it fails to discourage.

Sad to say, New York falls down on both counts.

Albany’s bail-reform initiative got off to an ominously comical start. When the feds had to take custody of alleged serial bank-robber Gerod Woodberry because local judges had to keep turning him loose — well, what else was there to do but laugh?

But consider this: Robbery in the third degree became a revolving-door offense Jan. 1, and this was followed by a dramatic, 29% spike in reported robberies, according to the most recent — albeit very short-term — CompStat numbers.

This crime isn’t nearly as amusing as a haplessly compulsive bank heister — robbery-third involves the threat of physical force and was devastatingly common in the ’80s — but its current threat to the city’s streets is clear enough.

Shootings, thank goodness, aren’t yet revolving-door offenses but nevertheless also were up sharply, according to CompStat — with a 22% hike in incidents and that 31% increase in victims. A Thursday shootout in Upper Manhattan — one dead, two wounded — suggests the spike is no fluke.

It’s also no surprise. As a matter of policy, City Hall has backed away from the quality-of-life enforcement that historically encouraged criminals to leave their weapons at home — stop-and-frisk, for example, has virtually ended and hardly anybody is busted for fare-beating any more.

So, more guns — more gunfire. Easy peasy.

Equally intuitive is why New York is evolving into a soft-on-crime world — even if nobody wants to talk about it.

It really is simple: Politicians pander, and you can learn a lot by watching to whom they pander. Right about now that would be people who — wittingly or otherwise — are intent on making New York less safe.

These are basically the folks who embrace a common, albeit perverse, interpretation of affirmative action — arguing that energetic law enforcement is illegitimate because it tends to have disproportionate racial, ethnic or class consequences.

This is not all that’s going on, of course, but it is the principal motivator of Albany’s revolving door “reforms”; it underlies the virtual abandonment of quality-of-life law enforcement in New York City; it’s the reason Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza refuses to address school violence — angering both parents and the United Federation of Teachers — and it has prompted the federal government to threaten a crackdown on so-called “sanctuary city” policies now so warmly embraced by City Hall and Albany.

Specifically, Gerod Woodberry’s alleged bank robberies; Thursday’s shootings at 135th Street and Riverside Drive; Carranza’s contemptuous walkout from a school-violence town hall meeting and the rape-murder of a 92-year-old Queens woman allegedly by an illegal immigrant set free by city officials in defiance of federal authorities are of a piece — and they did not happen in a vacuum.

They occurred in the context of a strengthening, extremely disturbing official acceptance of behavior that would not remotely have been tolerated before Bill de Blasio became mayor. And it’s not just de Blasio; the City Council, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature are actively promoting the decline.

What’s missing in all this, of course, is that far more often than not the victims of New York’s growing soft-on-crime sensibilities belong to the same racial, ethnic and class categories as their victimizers. On this irony does the disparate-impact argument fail.

Amazingly, only the feds are looking out for the innocent.

“It is unbelievable that I have to come here and plead with the city of New York to cooperate with us to help keep this city safe,” said acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence last week, following the Queens rape-murder.

Indeed it is.

Certainly nobody else — not de Blasio, not Cuomo and not city and state lawmakers — is arguing on behalf of the real victims.

It’s the new normal, and don’t expect it to change.

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