An analysis of Nassau County crime statistics over the past five years conducted by Blank Slate Media shows a more than 10% decrease in major crime from 2017 to 2021, but a more than 16% increase in violent crime.
Statistics reported by the Nassau County Police Department to the state’s Criminal Justice Services Division show that a total of 14,039 major crimes were committed countywide in 2017, compared to 12,535 in 2021.
The list of major crimes included in the report were murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and theft of motor vehicles.
The largest year-over-year decline in major crimes over the five-year analysis was from 2019 to 2020 with a drop of almost 9% – from 13,387 to 12,244 – over the year marked by the pandemic, according to statistics.
Although most crimes increased from 2019 to 2020, theft reports decreased by almost 15%, from 10,234 to 8,741, which contributed to the overall decline.
Motor vehicle thefts increased by nearly 10% from 639 to 702 from 2019 to 2020. Aggravated assaults increased by 13.4% from 1,081 to 1,226 and burglaries increased by 12%, from 870 to 975 from 2019 to 2020, according to statistics.
According to statistics, violent crimes and property crimes have increased slightly from 2020 to 2021.
Overall, major crimes increased by less than 3% in 2021, compared to 12,244 in 2020. Violent crimes increased by 5%, from 1,826 to 1,917 during this period, and crimes against goods increased by less than 2%.
The crime report appears to contradict claims that reforms to New York’s bail reform laws had led to an increase in crime, which was a central part of Republicans’ successful countywide campaigns in November 2021.
New York implemented bail reform laws in January 2020, with amendments passed in April of that year. State officials said the amended laws eliminate pretrial detention and optional cash bail in about 90 percent of cases.
Local officials, including Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, have expressed opposition to the laws, saying recent increases in major crimes and reports involving repeat offenders reflect bail reform.
Blakeman recently said there is a “state of lawlessness” throughout New York that has resulted in repeat offenders returning to Nassau County to commit crimes.
“We seriously need to change the laws so that we don’t give criminals more rights than victims,” Blakeman said. “Unfortunately, that’s how it is now. We have people committing crime after crime and judges don’t have the discretion to detain these people or not and I think that’s a huge mistake.
While New York judges have the ability to set bail in almost all cases involving a violent crime, they can also release individuals in almost all other cases on their own recognizance or issue certain conditions to ensure that they eventually return to court.
Blakeman signed an executive order in January shortly after taking office that cites the need “to increase transparency by disclosing in daily reports data on ongoing criminal cases and the bail status of those re-arrested.” by the police department.
The county has yet to release those reports.
In the first three months of 2022, the police department reported that major crimes increased by 75% compared to the first three months of 2021.
In Nassau’s 3rd and 6th Wards, which make up the majority of North Shore communities, 645 major crimes were committed in the three months of this year, up from 333 last year, a 93% increase.
The county has yet to release county crime statistics since March.
Statistics showed 1,662 major crimes were committed across Nassau County from Jan. 1 to March 31, compared to 950 crimes during the same period last year.
From January 1 to March 31 of this year, more than 300 stolen vehicle reports were filed with the county police department, a 255 percent increase from the same time last year, according to statistics.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said 75% of cars stolen in Nassau this year were by Newark residents. He said Newark criminal networks send young people to steal cars because they won’t be prosecuted as adults.
Ryder and former County Executive Laura Curran announced last July that major crime across Nassau was down more than 10% from 2020, reflecting a decade-long decline in major crime countywide. .
Nassau County spends $1,148 per capita on police and fire protection, while the national median is $359, according to the 2020 US News & World Report finding that named Nassau County the community safest in America. Public safety professionals make up 1.26% of the county’s population, compared to a national median of 0.70%.
The county again received this distinction as the safest community in America according to the US News & World report in 2021.
The total number of violent crimes increased by nearly 300 between 2017 and 2021, statistics show, from 1,650 reports in 2017 to 1,917 in 2021.
The largest increase in crimes from 2017 to 2021 was in rapes with 172 reported in 2021 eight less than the previous four years combined and 131 more than in 2017.
While robberies fell by more than 150 between 2017 and 2021, assaults jumped by more than 300 over the five-year period and murders rose from 17 to 21 over the same period, according to the report.
The number of major property crimes (burglaries, larceny and motor vehicle theft) fell by nearly 2,000 over the five-year sample size, from 12,389 in 2017 to 10,618 in 2021, according to statistics.