Major felony crimes in 31 of New York City’s biggest parks increased nearly 18 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year, pushing the yearly total to the highest level since officials began collecting data for these parks in 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports. There were 417 major felony crimes in those parks last year, compared with 354 in 2012, says the New York Police Department. Major felony crimes citywide increased 0.17%—compared with the previous year.
During former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s final term, between 2009 and 2013, major felonies in the city’s largest parks rose 57.4 percent. Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, new chairwoman of the Committee on Public Safety, said the increase in park felonies “raises a serious red flag,” adding that “this doesn’t look like a one-year phenomenon.” Police Commissioner William Bratton said he plans to examine the parks crime data, but noted that the overall numbers are relatively small.