We’ve done a lot of complaining about the weather this winter—who hasn’t?—but the ceaseless freeze and the seemingly un-meltable mountains of snow, ice, trash, and frozen dog poop have had one concrete benefit: a precipitous drop in crime rates.
We already knew that murders were down 18 percent over this same period in 2013, and now de Blasio has announced that during February, there was a 10-day stretch where no one in New York killed anybody. Not even once! The city hasn’t had a comparable non-killing spree since the NYPD started keeping records. There was also a 24-hour stretch on March 5th that was totally free of murders, shootings, stabbings, and slashings.
The mayor is understandably using the opportunity to tout Bill Bratton’s approach to policing post-stop-and-frisk, and said, “Under Commissioner Bratton’s leadership, the NYPD has shown that it is able to keep reducing crime while dialing back the tensions that have too long marred the relationship between police and community.”
And for an administration that’s gotten a lot of flack in its early months—some of it deserved, some if it preposterous—this is unquestionably a nice achievement to hang their hats on. But, as NY1 points out, there’s probably a significant tie-in here to the frigid temperatures. As most people are well aware, crime, like our general activity levels, correlates strongly to weather; when it’s hot, we fight, and when it’s cold, we hibernate. If they manage to keep it up in the summer—and keep the streets more clear of garbage and excrement, while they’re at it—then we’ll really be impressed.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.