By Thomas Tracy , Rocco Parascandola and Graham Rayman New York Daily News
NEW YORK — An uptick in hate crimes citywide has alarmed Mayor de Blasio and NYPD brass.
There have been 309 hate crimes so far this year, compared to 297 during the same period last year, authorities revealed Wednesday. More than half those crimes targeted Jews, with 159 anti-Semitic crimes reported so far this year compared to 130 during the same period last year.
“(An) uptick in hate crimes is affecting a lot of communities in the city,” Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, choking up. “All of (these hate crimes) have to stop. If you do not act aggressively toward hate crimes you inadvertently give it license …There’s way too much hatred out there and it’s been given a lot of license.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill also decried the trend, referring to the man who murdered 11 Jewish worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
“The increase of bias crime in the city particularly against the Jewish community is particularly troubling,” O‘Neill said. “Everybody in New York City and our nation should pay attention to what happened in Pittsburgh and understand it should never ever happen in the United States of America. (Robert) Bowers operated under the radar and espoused deep-seated hate against the Jewish community … Anyone harboring similar thoughts or someone who talks about carrying out anything remotely connected to violence against a specific group of people the NYPD wants to know about it. We need to know about it.”
The remarks came at the city’s monthly crime statistics press conference. Murders are down 41% for October — with 17 slayings citywide last month compared to 29 in October 2017.
“This is the lowest number of murders for October (ever recorded),” said Chief of Crime Control Strategies Lori Pollock.
The city also saw the fewest number of shootings in the month of October ever recorded.
So far this year the city has seen 252 murders, one less than during the same period last year.
With 55 days left in the year, that puts the city on pace for 295 murders by Dec. 31 if the current killing rate keeps up. That would slightly exceed the total of 292 murders last year, when the bloodshed eased in the final two months of the year.
Overall major crime is down 1.4% so far this year compared to last, while shootings are down 4.7%. The city is on pace for a record low of fewer than 96,000 major crimes for the year..
“What’s also so noteworthy is all this has been achieved with fewer arrests. At this point, arrests are down 13% year to date,” de Blasio said.