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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A shocking new report has revealed that a number of major crimes, including murders and rapes, have increased specifically within city parks even as it declines overall in New York City.

The number of murders, rapes, robberies and assaults went up 23% in the nine months through March, in comparison to the same period the year before, according to a report just released by a park watchdog group.

“More than a person a day is the victim of a violent crime in a city park,” Geoffrey Croft, founder of NYC Park Advocates – which performed the analysis using data provided by the New York Police Department – disclosed to the Wall Street Journal. “It’s a bad omen. It shows a lack of priority in dealing with this.”

NYPD officials countered that in certain ways parks are a haven from violence.

“Crime in city parks is less than 1% of all reported crime in New York City during that same period,” stated NYPD spokesman Lt. John Grimpel. “City parks represent 14% of New York City land mass, which makes them one of the safest places in the city and the country.”

A spokesman for Mayor de Blasio noted that the department is focusing on problematic areas using a precision policing model.

In what would seem like good news, the first three months of 2016 experienced the second-lowest number of crimes recorded in parks since 2014, when the NYPD began recording quarterly crime figures in at least 1,000 parks across the city.

For its part, NYC Park Advocates integrated crime numbers that were provided by the NYPD for the first three months of 2016 and the last six months of 2015. The resulting figures were then compared with the first three months of 2015 and the final six months of 2014.

During that period, the data shows there were a total of 417 violent crimes during the most-recent nine-month span compared with 340 violent crimes the previous period.

A specific analysis of the data reveals that from July 2015 to last March, there were six murders, 14 victims of rape, 254 people were robbed, and 143 individuals were victims of felony assaults. Previously, the data shows that there were 10 murders, two rapes, 221 robberies, and 107 felony assault victims.

Crotona Park, a spacious area in the Claremont neighborhood of the Bronx, has a reputation as one of the most crime-plagued parks in the city. In the 12 month period through March 31 of 2016, 23 violent crimes were reported there, the most of any park for that period, according to the report.

Miriam Gold