Crime down in April, up for 2020


Crime is down in the city — and the 50th Precinct — and it might all be thanks to the coronavirus.

April’s reported crimes dropped nearly 29 percent compared to the year before, following a trend that seems to pervade every single borough, according to law enforcement officials.

Felony assaults were down 32 percent, and robberies dropped 26 percent citywide. Grand larceny was down the most — at 52 percent — while shootings fell nearly 10 percent.

At the 50th precinct, crime dropped 20 percent in April, led by a 57 percent decline in grand larcenies.

Still, crime is up this year overall  by nearly 17 percent, compared to a 3 percent uptick for the city.

Auto theft and burglary continue to be a problem, especially when it comes to stores. Citywide, commercial burglary exploded by 169 percent.

Burglaries in the 50th are up 28 percent for the year, but local law enforcement officials collected just one more burglary report this year than in 2019.

Grand larceny auto is up 33 percent in April locally, but well over 55 percent for the year.

The police force overall is nearly back to full strength after peaking at 20 percent absenteeism at the height of the pandemic. As of Monday, the force has lost 38 people to complications from COVID-19.

While hate crimes targeting the Jewish and LGBTQ communities are down across the city, police did report 15 hate crimes related to the coronavirus. That’s more than every other hate crime category, with the exception of anti-Semitism, which has had 50 reports so far this year.


Bronx meal sites still not kosher

The city continues to provide meals for those in need during the coronavirus pandemic, but Jews looking to keep kosher remain out-of-luck when it comes to these “grab-and-go” sites in the Bronx, and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz wants to do something about it.

“Nobody should be forced to choose between their religion and the human need to consume food,” the lawmaker said in his weekly newsletter to constituents. “There are tens of thousands of kosher-observant households in the 10463 (and) 10471 ZIP codes alone, yet there is nowhere for any of them to go pick up a kosher meal if they have no money and no food.”

The city has provided kosher meals at more than a dozen sites in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, but none in the Bronx, Dinowitz said. Because there is a larger concentration of kosher-observant Jews near Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy and P.S. 95 Sheila Mencher, the Assemblyman believes these sites could be good locations to provide such meals.

“People who eat kosher should be able to access grab-and-go meals in their own neighborhoods, if they need it,” Dinowitz said.