NEW YORK — It’s an accolade that no neighborhood in New York wants. Manhattan’s 6th Ward, which includes West Village and Greenwich Village, has seen the highest increase in crime of the five boroughs.
On Thursday, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes spoke with residents and business owners.
At the New University Pen & Stationery on Bleecker Street, owner Muhammed Akmal has grown accustomed to shoplifters.
“Sometimes they come two, three times a day. Sometimes they don’t show up like two, three days, at least once a week there’s always something going on,” Akmal said.
At least once a week – and he’s not the only one.
The latest NYPD statistics show that shoplifting and armed robbery are helping to fuel a huge rise in crime in the 6th Ward, which includes the trendy West Village and Greenwich Village neighborhoods, as well as Washington Square. Park, where a man appeared to be bathing in the fountain on Thursday afternoon.
Of the NYPD’s 77 precincts, the 6th has seen the largest increase in criminal crime — an 80.2% increase — over the same period last year.
“I can see it. It’s a drag because I don’t even go out at night anymore and it’s not me,” said one resident.
“Wow,” said another resident, adding when asked if the numbers were surprising, “Yes, it is. It surprises me.”
The last digits show in the 6th:
- Burglaries increased by 119%
- Large-scale thefts increased by more than 100%
- Car thefts increased by 39%
- Thefts increased by 45%
- Rapes have increased by almost 43%
There have been two murders so far this year, compared to none during the same period last year.
The glimmer of good news is that criminal assaults are down almost 4%.
“There are real criminals on the streets. Let’s face the facts, shall we?” said company owner Jamal Alnasr.
Alnasr owns “Village Revival” records in Greenwich Village. He said he rarely calls the police because, apparently, everything is happening these days.
“We have to enforce some laws that are a little tougher, I guess,” he said.
CBS2 contacted the NYPD to comment on these crime statistics, but did not hear back. Figures show that while crime is up in the 6th arrondissement, arrests are also up by around 40%.