New York City crime down, except in parks

Lisa Colagrossi reports on an alarming trend in New York City parks
March 12, 2014 3:23:58 AM PDT
New York City is celebrating a decline in crime across the five boroughs, but the NYPD has discovered there is one place criminals still thrive - parks.

New crime statistics reveal a disturbing trend that put a damper on the fact that crime is down city wide.

In 2013, crime in parks jumped 18 percent from the previous year. There were 417 major felony crimes compared to 354 in 2012.

The number of rapes doubled. Sixty percent of all park crimes occurred in Central Park and Riverside Park in Manhattan and Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

Still, the de Blasio administration says the city is safer than its ever been.

"The numbers we're seeing are just reflective that this has become an incredibly safe city," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said. "Speaking of Rikers (Island), Rikers back in 1994-95 had a population of, what, 22,000? We were actually opening the barges to house them because we had so many people to put there. The population now, I think, on a daily basis is 11,000 or 12,000."

So who is going to focus on the problem of crime in the parks? New York City does not presently have a parks commissioner. Mayor de Blasio says he is going to begin the interview process in the coming days.

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