New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday on MSNBC that he supports local shop owners hiring private security amid a crime spike.
A group of Bronx business owners represented by the Fordham Road Business Improvement District will operate the “Ambassadors Program” of five people between 2:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, the New York Post (NYP) reported. This unarmed group will patrol the area to deter thieves, according to the report.
MSNBC’s Jonathan Lemire noted the cover of The Post, which featured the story.
“We saw the front page of ‘New York Post’ here this morning, I’ll hold it up, talking about how there are some here in the Bronx, shopkeepers, that there’s a sense of feeling of the police aren’t doing enough, that they are fed up with NYC crime,” Lemire said. “Shop owners are hiring private guards to fight back. Is that a wise strategy?”
“No, it is a wise strategy because I say this over and over again, not only must the numbers reflect safety, but people must feel safe,” Adams said. “We had a summit two weeks ago with all of our major chains to look at the repeated grand larcenies and larcenies that have taken place in the stores and we’re going to come up with a major initiative in that place.” (RELATED: NYC Murder Rate Jumps 20% In One Year)
“People must feel safe,” he continued. “And we must make sure that businesses are safe in this city. And that’s what the NYPD is doing.”
New York has experienced crime increases since 2020. Although shootings and murders fell, retail thefts increased 16% compared to 2019, the New York Times (NYT) reported, citing the New York Police Department (NYPD). Serious assaults have increased 18%, while arrest numbers have dropped.
Thefts of $1,000 or more have jumped more than 60% in the city’s Midtown South Precinct, in 2022, The Post reported, citing NYPD data.
Adams has been outspoken about his criticism of New York State’s no-cash bail law, according to Politico. The law, which was passed in 2019, allows first-time offenders who are arrested for certain crimes to remain free as their cases are processed. The mayor has called for stricter pre-trial detention, arguing that many of these people go on to reoffend while awaiting trial.