Upd.: Nov. 28, 2016 | 12:39pm
By Tina Moore, Shari Logan and Georgett Roberts
|Photo: Christopher Sadowski|
Nearly half of city residents don’t believe the NYPD’s statistics that show crime decreasing, according to a new poll funded by the police union.
While most residents — 74 percent — support the job that the Police Department is doing, 47.6 percent doubt its Compstat figures, the survey shows.
Nearly half of residents also believe that the city is generally headed in the wrong direction, with its biggest problems being affordable housing and crime. Other issues include homelessness, cost of living — and local politicians, which all tied at 8 percent, according to the poll.
Overall, the quality of policing in the city garnered a 6.88 out of 10 rating, according to the poll conducted by the national firm McLaughlin & Associates, which sampled 500 likely city voters between Nov. 14 and Nov. 16, and was funded by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
The NYPD has been boasting the lowest crime levels ever, with historic drops in homicides and shootings compared to 20 years ago and overall drops in the seven major crime categories. But the numbers may not reflect public perception, a police source said.
“People see that cars are getting broken into on their blocks and see that that there’s still massive gang activity,” the source said. “A lot of this is anecdotal evidence, but if the person on the street doesn’t feel safe, that’s their reality, and that’s the statistic that counts.”
Nearly half of the respondents, 47.6 percent, said they believe that the statistics showing decreased crime are false. Another 42 percent said they believed crime was down, and 10 percent declined to answer or said they didn’t know.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis responded in a statement, “The only thing false about the NYPD statistics showing decreased crime in the city is the narrative being purposely promulgated by the PBA. … These numbers are not perceptions, they are reality.”
Nigel Lewis, a 24-year-old forklift operator who lives near Yankee Stadium, agreed with the non-believers.
“I’m one of those people who don’t believe it,” Lewis said. “Every time you turn around people are getting slashed, pushed on the train tracks, robbed, shot — this is happening everywhere. You gotta watch your back constantly.”
That perception may be why 70 percent of respondents would like to see police patrols increased in their neighborhoods, according to the survey.
Walika Allen, a 26-year-old student who lives in Brooklyn, still sees heavy crime in East New York.
“East New York is still a bad neighborhood,” Allen said. “I hear helicopters every night because the cops are looking for somebody that just committed a crime. On the news, you still hear bad things happening over here. Crime is not down.”
But Richard Woods, 48 , a truck driver from Queens, said he’s grown up surrounded by crime and believes it has dropped to historic lows.
“I have always lived in black neighborhoods. and I just don’t see crime like it used to be,” said Woods, who is black. “In the ’90s, there was drugs everywhere, a crack dealer on every corner, old people get mugged, armed robberies. And you don’t hear that anymore.”
Margaret Miller, a 73-year-old retiree in Brooklyn, took a more measured approach.
“I think it’s gone down a bit,” she said. “When I look at the news, you don’t hear much going on in East New York anymore. Before every week there used to be a killing. Maybe it’s gentrification and all the white people coming in why crime is down. I’m praying that crime gets eliminated.”
In a statement, PBA President Patrick Lynch urged Mayor de Blasio to hire more cops and increase the pay and improve benefits for the city’s approximately 36,000 police officers.
“The bottom line is, this poll shows that New Yorkers are uneasy about a lot of things occurring under the de Blasio administration, but the work being performed by New York City police officers is not one of them,” Lynch said. “The job has become increasingly difficult and dangerous yet even more critical for our city, and we need the Mayor to come to the table and support us – with a market rate of pay and a fair disability benefit – so that we can continue to make this city a better place to live, work, and raise our families.”