According to the latest crime statistics, there were almost five hundred shooting arrests last month — which represented a 112 per cent rise on the same period last year — and some 115 shootings, which had also risen 112 per cent on last year.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said in a statement that the increase in shootings “presented significant public safety challenges”, while the city also responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, placing strain on police department resources.
“As shootings continued their upward trajectory in November, citywide shooting incidents through the first eleven months of 2020 surged to levels unseen in years,” the statement added.
This year alone, the department has recorded over 1,4000 shootings, which was 95.8 per cent higher than that seen between January and November last year.
The NYPD said 40 per cent of those accused of a shooting so far this year, have previously been arrested for gun possession.
At the same time, some 21 per cent of shooting victims were also said to have had a previous arrest for gun possession.
While “shootings have victimised far too many,“ the police department said. “Going forward, the NYPD will continue to cultivate information to arrest anyone willing to purchase, carry or sell an illegal firearm in New York City.”
Responding to the release of the crime statistics on Friday, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said increases in certain crimes were because public spaces were closed, in addition to economic troubles, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, ABC New York reported.
Homicides were also higher last month than at the same time last year, and have risen by 38 per cent on the previous year.
Hate crimes, however, were said to be “dramatically down” on the same month last year, with overall crime having flatlined so far this year, according to NYPD statistics.
“Even as the pandemic prompted a spike in coronavirus-related hate crimes against those of Asian descent, it was swiftly addressed by the formation of an Asian Hate Crime Task Force that has so far helped to close 16 of 24 of those reported crimes with an arrest,” the department said.
“Whatever the challenge, our NYPD officers have shown innovation and determination to get the job done this year,” NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea added.