Bill Bratton, Ray Kelly, Thomas O’Neill and Rudy Giuliani know exactly what drove crime down in New York City: They did, of course.
The police commissioners’ strategies — CompStat, precision policing, stop-and-frisk, data analysis and more — and the mayor’s zero-tolerance approach coincided with a breathtaking drop in crime that lasted from the early 1990s until the pandemic.
The real estate industry profited handsomely. Nothing is more important to the value of homes, offices and retail spaces than the ability to get to and from them safely. As confidence grew in subways, parks and neighborhoods once considered dangerous, so did rents and prices. Tourism doubled and shopping corridors flourished. Foreign professionals flocked here to work.
The reality is, no one knows why crime fell. But to credit New York City’s police and political leadership would be to ignore that crime simultaneously fell…