- Stronger Communities
- Economic Growth
NEW YORK – Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is calling on the Bloomberg Administration to report crime statistics for all major City parks, following a recent sexual assault in Hudson River Park. Hudson River Park is among hundreds of parks, playgrounds and recreational centers for which crime data is unavailable—preventing more strategic policing and better community engagement. In a letter sent Tuesday, de Blasio called on the Mayor and Police Commissioner to come into full compliance with a 2005 City Council law requiring crime reporting for all parks larger than one acre.
“For a city that wrote the book on data-driven crime fighting, the dearth of statistics on crime in our parks is astounding. We need to fix these blind spots immediately, before another New Yorker is victimized in one of our public spaces,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Read the full letter below:
September 25, 2012
Hon. Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of the City of New York
New York, NY 10007
New York City Police Department
1 Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038
Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly:
The recent sexual assaults in our parks have deeply shaken New Yorkers’ sense of security. This most recent sexual assault in Hudson River Park comes only ten days after a similar attack involving a 73-year old victim in Central Park. Crimes in our parks demand the same seriousness as those on our streets—and yet I am deeply concerned the City is not employing the same methodical, data-driven approach in parks that it utilizes to reduce crime elsewhere.
Currently, the City only reports crime data for 31 major parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities. The data from the remaining parks—including Hudson River Park—is aggregated with general precinct-level statistics—making it impossible to identify crime spikes in a specific park. This dearth in reporting violates the intent of Local Law 114, which required crime reporting in all parks and playgrounds one acre or greater in size. In light of the most recent attacks, I request that the City immediately come into full compliance with the law.
The 2005 law allowed the NYPD to set its own timetable for implementation based on what the City deemed “technologically feasible.” With data on only 2% of parks available seven years after the legislation took effect, I believe that approach has been insufficient. I am supporting legislation removing that loophole and requiring immediate implementation.
The spike in crime occurring in our parks demands a coordinated response. We need to address the sustained reduction in Parks Enforcement Patrol officers and improve interagency coordination. But data must inform all of our efforts. I urge you to expand crime reporting at once.
Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate for the City of New York