Crime Rises in Public Housing

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jackson Houses in the Bronx, public housing, NYCHA Jackson Houses in the Bronx. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Public housing developments in Brooklyn and Queens have seen a 26 percent spike in crime over the last two years - that's according to a New York City Housing Authority document.

At public housing developments city wide, there's been a 14 percent rise in crime from 2010 to 2012, compared to a 5 percent increase in the city as a whole during that same time.

The crime increase comes at the same time that the housing authority has been scrutinized for failing to install surveillance cameras fast enough. Mayor Bloomberg downplayed the importance of cameras.

“Where we have cameras, the crime rate — my understanding is — is no different,” Bloomberg said. “Cameras are not a panacea.”

Bronx City Councilman James Vacca has been pushing NYCHA to install cameras at the Pelham Parkway Houses in the Bronx. “I agree it’s not a panacea,” he said. “But they will catch individuals before they commit more violent crimes.”

Vacca said cameras would be a deterrent to people who loiter, attempt to intimidate others or use drugs in lobbies and hallways of public housing.

Just this past Sunday, a shooting at the Pelham Parkway Houses left one victim dead and another wounded, and in June an 88-year-old woman was murdered at that complex.

Bloomberg was also quick to point out that murder in public housing was down 29 percent over the last two years.

While murder did drop, there were increases in almost every other category of crime, including rape, robbery, burglary and felony assault.

NYCHA crime statistics had one bright spot. In the Bronx, housing developments experienced a 5 percent reduction in crime – the only borough where there was a drop.

Vacca said he found the reduction hard to fathom and speculated that crimes are going unreported or that altercations involving NYCHA tenants that occur nearby, but outside the development itself, are not being captured in the statistics.


More in:

Comments [4]

David Firestone from nyc

Why should the City Housing be wasting millions of tax payer dollars by not taking these simple steps for once?? Perhaps they are creating a reason to sell them of and get paid kickbacks?? Overnight, providing adequate security, is an easy way to save both money and lives, as well as improve the quality of life: increasing the chances for peace and prosper of all residents as well as the community? Instead, the Projects have been turned into genocide machines, A Roman blood sport arena, and concentration death camp against the poor, who are primarily blacks and Hispanics.

We beg you for the love of God to please help stop this campaign of hate and genocide against the residents by providing residents basic security and safety. Public housing in the City of New York and across the nation has been turned into death camps and genocide machine. Reversing this ferocious atrocity can be done overnight, once the management is made to realize that even if the residents are mostly poor blacks and Hispanics, they are just as human and are not inferior to anyone, and deserve a chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!
. Email: -- TWITTER: @projectsofdeath (Page 2 of 2)

Oct. 26 2013 05:32 AM
David Firestone from nyc

! Please send this urgent appeal to as many people & officials as you can !

Homicide, rape, vandalism, poverty, illness, incarcerations and all criminal activities in the Public Housing projects across the country are a direct result of the Lack of basic security. The first cause is deliberate negligence; the fact that the security cameras are not being used for the monitoring of all crimes and violations like it is done in all other residential building. This would be a common sense thing to do; unless the criminals are the ones in control of the cameras. People and their pets are allowed to urinate and defecate, do graffiti, in every elevator, stairwell, and in front of the lobby door all day long, smashing the lobby entrance door glass almost every month, to trespass and gain illegal access. All this is often done in plain sight of the cameras, and nothing has ever been done about it for decades. Every minute you must watch where you are stepping to avoid the urine and feces. Secondly, because of the high level of homicide and criminal activities, the cameras in the building should be made to broadcast into the cable network of the building so that the tenants can help in monitoring building security, like it is done in all other buildings in the city where they value the life, health and safety of the residents, without judging their race or economic condition.

Secondly, homicide, rape, vandalism, and other criminal activities can quickly be eliminated by having two security officers to patrol each project, one in uniform, the other undercover. The Officers must get out of their patrol cars at each building to make sure that the exit doors are kept closed and locked, so that criminals do not come in and out of the building all night like roaches to urinate, victimize the residents and vandalize the property. Every night, after about 2:00 AM, the gangsters and criminals start jamming the doors open. The building doors not being kept closed and locked, especially at night, is the primary cause of all the danger, violence, health and sanitation hazards, and criminal activity. And something must be done about the sound of gunshots being heard day and night!

Oct. 26 2013 05:28 AM
marbee from USA

And now that homes with guns has been mapped, this outta really make the crime rate spike! And since Bloomey wants to ban smoking INSIDE the home, even those with guns will be hit. WHAT A BUNCH OF BLOOMING IDIOTS WE HAVE IN HIGH PLACES!

Jan. 05 2013 07:14 PM from

Two people were shot at Queensbridge Houses on Sunday.

Blood evidence photos at web site

Aug. 28 2012 08:34 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by