Sanders Decries Peninsula Crime Surge
New York City Councilman James Sanders Jr. announced his rising concerns about the increased crime wave seen last month on the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, attributing the growth in burglaries, assaults and robberies to both the ongoing economic malaise, and the increasingly diminished presence and manpower of the police force in the City.
“Though technically not within the 31st District, this is still happening in the Rockaways, and what happens anywhere in the Rockaways affects everyone living there,” said the Councilman. “We’re not talking about a slight uptick. Burglaries in the area are up more than 100 percent from 2010, and assaults are up 66 percent. It’s clear that ongoing cuts to the police department have taken their toll on the Rockaways, but it’s equally clear that we need to be doing more as a community to insulate and protect ourselves. Preventative measures that stop crimes before they start are always the best way to deter future crime.”
According to a spokesperson, the Councilman has encouraged the creation and maintenance of community patrol groups, and has promoted greater cooperation and interaction between community boards and other civic groups and local police precincts. He has also been encouraged by recent efforts of young people, especially young men, to provide protective escort services for women in the face of the recent wave of sexual assaults, and has called for greater policing in the area.
“In the end we are all one peninsula, and one community,” said the Councilman. “We need to look out for one another and protect each other. My office is always a first line of defense and an initial resource for anyone who has been victimized by a crime. Speaking out is the single best way to fight criminals and refuse to be a victim, and I encourage our entire Rockaway community to come together in the face of this madness.”