Crime Fears Dominate New York Mayoral Race

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Fear of crime is back on the political agenda as New York City prepares to wind up a punishing primary battle that will choose the next mayor. Although most common types of crime recorded the lowest levels since the 1990s, an upsurge in homicides and other violent crimes has put law and order at the top of voter concerns, reports the Associated Press. A  Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos poll released this week chose “crime or violence” as the biggest problem facing New York, with both racial injustice and police reform also in the top 10. “No one is coming to New York, in our multibillion-dollar tourism industry, if you have three-year-old children shot in Times Square,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former New York police officer who currently leads the polls in the multi-candidate race.  He was referring to a May 8 shooting in which a 4-year-old girl and two adult women were wounded by stray bullets.

Through June 6, there were 181 homicides in New York City, up from 121 in the same period in 2019, an increase of 50 percent. That’s the worst start to a year since 2011.At least 687 people were wounded or killed by gunfire through June 6. That’s not historically bad. More than 2,400 people were shot during the same period in 1993. But it is the highest number for a winter and early spring since 2000. New York voters will begin early voting Saturday to pick from a crowded field of 13 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.  In this traditional Democratic stronghold, the winner is considered a shoo-in to become mayor.

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