Is New York returning to the bad old days pre-Giuliani? Maybe:
The NYPD's CompStat data indeed show upticks in violent crime since last year. The city has had 238 murders so far this year (as of last Sunday), up 7.6 percent from 221 last year, and 664 rapes, up 6.2 percent.Over at Blue Crab Boulevard:
Should we be worried? Queens Councilmember Peter Vallone, chair of the council's Public Safety Committee, thinks so. "We're seeing the beginnings of a return to the bad old days," he says. "We should never forget that we're a thousand percent better off now than we were in 1991, when we had only 31,000 police officers on the street, and we made a decision, through the Safe Cities program, to increase that number by 10,000.
The new mayor, Michael Bloomberg is very, very concerned with trans fats and the harvesting of organs. Crime? Not so much, it would seem. Quality of life for the taxpaying citizens? Very little.I remember reading The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell, where he posits that the crime changes in New York had everything to do with population age distribution and nothing to do with Giuliani. Maybe.
It seems to reason that part of the reason that America has been spared more attacks during the Bush years, has not only been his policy but his emphasis and leadership. When criminals of any kind sense weakness they exploit it. If they think they can get a way with murder, they'll try to get away with murder. It might not be causation but certainly there's a correlation.
Allowing crime to increase would be bad news for New York. Security first, then economy. If people are afraid, they won't visit. Three summers ago, I was in New York, all over the city, with my kids and friends. I felt safe everywhere. The police presence was obvious but not obtrusive. With crime rising, Mayor Bloomberg might want to reevaluate his priorities or else families won't be visiting. Between taxes and everything else, New York won't seem so appealing to work in or visit.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News