Hate crimes are on the rise in New York City, despite a lower number of reported crimes like murders, rapes and robberies. The NYPD data comes as the city unveils a new network of resources that aims to make NYC a safer place for everyone.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will open this summer, a combined effort from the NYPD, City Commission on Human Rights, Department of Education, Department of Probation, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and District Attorney’s Offices, to prevent hate crimes, while developing and coordinating community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling hate crimes, which are reportedly on the rise.
“In New York City, we celebrate and uphold our differences and reject any attempt to hate or divide,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will work to root out hate and make our streets safer, which is why we’re moving up the timeline and opening the office months ahead of schedule. We will never stand idly by while our fellow New Yorkers are targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or any other quality that makes them who they are.”
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NYPD had 176 complaints of hate crimes from Jan. 1 to May 19, an 83 percent increase compared with the same period in 2018.
Police data found that while arrests for hate crimes are rising faster than complaints, a spike in anti-Semitic hate crime reports made up the majority of the overall increase. Hate crime complaints surged from 50 to 103, or 59 percent of hate crimes during that period.
“People are still frightened,” Councilman Corey Johnson told NBC New York. “People are frightened all across the city and as an elected official it hurts to say that. I want everyone in our city, the greatest city in the world to feel safe and to feel protected.”
The new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes combines non-law enforcement deterrence such as public education campaigns, outreach and community safety models and preventative best practice. Officials said that this includes developing diversion programs and other strategies so that the NYPD, District Attorney’s Offices, defenders and judges have options beyond arrest and prosecution to deal with hate crime perpetrators.
Data shows that that New York has seen a jump from 112 reported hate crimes in 2018 to the recorded 184 hate crime instances through June 2, 110 of which targeted Jews, which is an increase from 58 reports in 2018.
There were 18 attacks motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, three more than in 2018, and 18 targeting victims who are black, up from 14, and whites, who were victims in 11 hate crimes, also up from three in 2018.
The NYPD says 75 people have been arrested in connection with the crimes.