Both my landlord and my neighborhood news letter have claimed it is no longer safe in my neighborhood.
Steve Belida from the HK49-53 Block Alliance states “Assault may be down, but burglaries and theft are still ongoing.It may be best to go out in pairs or groups. There are a lot less people on the street and with the bail reform act in place the police have to let most of those they arrest go free until their court appearance. It’s times like this that we see how dumb some laws can be! Mayor DiBlasio recently instructed New Yorkers to take photos of your neighbors who are not following Social Distancing Protocol and send them to the city. PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THIS DIRECTIVE!!! It puts you and anyone with you in Danger! I’ve already heard from many of you that you’ve been verbally assaulted for looking at someone else not behaving properly in the neighborhood.And that was just for looking! Imagine if you start taking photos!Some of you felt really threatened for just observing.There is no reason to put yourself in a position of being assaulted.It’s best for individuals to take Social Distancing responsibly, but we are not the the Mayors Secret Police! And he shouldn’t be asking anyone in the community to being doing this! Please stay healthy and safe!”
My landlord wrote: Desperate people do desperate things, so everyone should be even more vigilant than usual about who they buzz into their building and who might be behind them as they come in the front door.”
A neighbor wrote “There’s a crack dealer around the 42 – 43 – 44 st and 8 – 9 Ave area, police have setup lights on 43st and 42st in front of the Seven Eleven, but due to the current situation the police have limited resources to focus on this, as you can imagine. Don’t expect an immediate solution at least not until we’re out of the pandemic situation. Just know what’s going on and keep an eye out for trouble. Stay safe!
Another wrote “It’s getting worse every night. There are people going into our trash areas having sex and selling drugs. Someone was stabbed in one of those a couple days ago. Last night I looked out and saw a few people gathered and a car pulling up and getting drugs. Just then a police car pulled up, slowed down and the scattered…. Everyone needs to stay safe.
Another “Crimes happen in the daylight too!”
And another “The crime progressively gets worse the closer you get to 42nd st and Port Authority. Homeless are getting desperate. The normal cash flow received from the tourism industry has dried up. The addictions and hunger have not. Ive seen them demand food from take out spots, shake down other homeless and intimidate local residents at deli doors. The police as of yet have no real plan in place to deal with the problem. They’re caught in a tough spot too as we don’t want to risk those guys getting sick but somethings gotta change and their the ones paid to do it.”
1,500 prisoners were released from city jails over coronavirus concerns. Despite assurances from Mayor de Blasio that only nonviolent, elderly or chronically ill inmates would be sprung, 329 prisoners accused of violent felonies were released from city jails in the three weeks to April 6, at least some under age 30.With nearly 20 percent of NYPD officers out sick daily, New Yorkers anticipating a “Mad Max” future are taking matters into their own hands.
Adding to the air of menace in the neighborhood is a wave of graffiti attacks on shuttered storefronts on Ninth Avenue. Here is a neighbor’s post “Both 9th and 10th Avenues between 47th and 43rd have felt particularly dangerous, even during daylight hours. New graffiti is appearing all over storefronts almost nightly. Homeless are stealing out of the few delis we still have open. Hoping this gets under control soon.” And another “I’ve also noticed graffiti going up… sorta creepy.. shades of 80’s/90’s..”
Looting of shuttered stores has risen 75 percent since the coronavirus outbreak, but as fast as cops arrest suspects, they are back on the streets.
Prison activists have taken advantage of the pandemic to accelerate their decarceration agenda, yet offer no relief from a crime spree.
The neighborhood threads are long detailing what Mayor de Blasio’s lack of concern for Manhattan is creating. Could this turn into a “Mad Max” situation? Hopefully the Mayor will step-up!