Most NYC residents say city is less safe since pandemic, fear being victim of violent crime


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A majority of New Yorkers believe the city has become less safe in recent years, with more than three-quarters saying they fear being a victim of a crime, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Siena College Research Institute.

Seventy percent said they feel less safe in the city now than before the pandemic. Half of those polled said they have changed their daily routine to feel safer, which included at least 40% of adults in every borough, gender, age, race, party or income level.

Only 29% of New York City adults believe Democratic Mayor Eric Adams is doing an excellent or good job as mayor overall, while 64% said he is doing only a fair or even a poor job. 

Respondents also gave their views on how the mayor is doing when it comes to fighting crime, running public schools, addressing homelessness, encouraging tourism, managing everyday city services, positively transforming the New York Police Department (NYPD) and tackling the issue of safety at Rikers Island, which houses the city’s main jail complex.

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention in New York, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The poll found that Adams’ grades regarding crime, homelessness and Rikers Island were even worse than his overall approval rating.

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“If New Yorkers had a honeymoon with Mayor Adams, it was brief and it’s clearly over,” said Dr. Don Levy, who serves as director of the Siena College Research Institute.

Officers from the New York City Police Department stand in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, Aug. 19, 2021.

Officers from the New York City Police Department stand in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, Aug. 19, 2021.
(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

“While New Yorkers might be unimpressed with the job Adams is doing early in his term, they like his style as mayor, including a majority of voters from every borough, as well as a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents,” Levy also said.

“The mayor can take some comfort as well in the fact that 36% of residents think he’s doing a better job than Bill de Blasio did as mayor, compared to 17% who say he’s doing a worse job than de Blasio, and 36% who say Adams is doing about as well as de Blasio,” he added.

New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference at City Hall in New York City on Jan. 24, 2022.

New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference at City Hall in New York City on Jan. 24, 2022.
(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

“New Yorkers are rightly worried about crime, which is why public safety has been Mayor Adams’ top priority since day one,” said Adams’ press secretary Fabien Levy. “While reducing crime in the city won’t happen overnight, we are seeing movement and the most recent figures from the NYPD reflect progress, with shootings going down week after week for the last two months.”

“Mayor Adams is laser-focused on reducing gun violence, which is why nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers rated Mayors Adams as ‘excellent,’ ‘good,’ or ‘fair’ in this survey,” Levy added.

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The Spectrum News NY1/Siena College survey was conducted between May 22 and June 1 by telephone calls in English and Spanish to 1,000 New York City residents.



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