Crime in the Parks of NYC
New York State is known, in part, for its large and beautiful public parks. For many, these parks are little slices of natural paradise in the midst of an otherwise chaotic city, but for others, parks may be potential havens for illegal activity.
According to New York Police Department crime statistics, serious felonies were on the rise in New York City’s largest parks during the spring of 2013. From April to June, there were a reported 128 felonies. That’s an 89 percent increase from the 89 felonies that were reported during the same period in 2012.
While City Councilman Peter Vallone has suggested boosting the number of uniformed police officers in the parks, former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has stated that the crime rate in parks is actually relatively low, and makes up a very small percentage of overall crime in the city. According to Mr. Kelly, most of the crime that does occur in public parks is not violent in nature and consists largely of the theft of personal objects, such as wallets, iPhones and other personal devices.
With these statistics in the public forum, it’s likely that the NYPD will increase enforcement in the city’s public parks. Regardless for which type of crime, if you are arrested for committing an illegal act in a public place, you may suffer disproportionately severe consequences as a response to public fear. Thus, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to make sure you fully protect your rights.