7 in 10 New Yorkers feel less safe than before pandemic: poll

FILE – New York’s Lower Manhattan skyline, including the One World Trade Center, left, is reflected in water on April 6, 2013, as seen from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. Eight of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. lost population during the first year of the pandemic, with only Phoenix and San Antonio gaining new residents from 2020 to 2021, according to new estimates released, Thursday, May 26, 2022, by the U.S. Census Bureau. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers feel less safe now than they did before the pandemic, according to a new poll. 

A survey released on Tuesday by the Siena College Research Institute showed that 70 percent of New Yorkers feel less safe now than before COVID-19. A quarter of respondents said they feel about as safe as before the pandemic, and just 3 percent said they feel safer. 

Additionally, 76 percent said they fear they will be the victim of a violent crime. 

Sixty-nine percent said they are concerned a gunman could target people in their neighborhood because of their race, religion or ethnicity, the poll showed.

The survey was conducted between May 22 and June 1 and included 1,000 New York City residents. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

The poll comes as New York sees an increase in high-profile racist attacks and after a mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., left 10 people at a grocery store dead. 

Alleged shooter Payton Gendron specifically targeted the area because it was a predominantly Black neighborhood. Eleven of the 13 victims were Black.

Meanwhile, in April, a New York man was indicted for attacking seven Asian women in the city. 

The suspect “approached the women from behind before striking them in the face with a closed fist or his elbow and fleeing the scene,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said at the time.

The city saw another instance of violence that injured at least 16 people after a suspect opened a canister on a subway train car, filled it with smoke and opened fire.  

After that incident, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) called for a “national response” to rising violence.

“We’re going to continue to do our job, but there is some assistance that’s going to be needed in our city, such as an empowering ATF,” Adams said, referring to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“There’s so many things that we could do to assist the cities across America, particularly New York City, to make sure that we’re a safe place for our residents,” he added.

Tags Eric Adams

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