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March 18, 2009

Case closed (and Blight Study bogus): high crime in Sector 88E relates to Ratner's malls, not AY footprint

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder publishes a must-read piece proving the utter bogosity of the Atlantic Yards blight study's claim of high rates of crime in the project's footprint.

I've long argued that claims in the Empire State Development Corporation's Blight Study of high crime in the Atlantic Yards footprint were dubious, first writing in July 2006. The state's evidence was so weak that Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden, in her January 2008 dismissal of the case challenging the Atlantic Yards environmental review, punted on even addressing the crime issue.

Last April, the Daily News, quoted an anonymous source as saying the need for a police presence at the Atlantic Terminal Mall has cut into the ranks of officers policing the rest of the 88th Precinct.

Case closed

Last night, a police official clarified the issue and closed the case: yes, Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal malls are prime crime locations in the precinct.

"A large percentage of our crime--particularly grand larceny and petit larceny--occurs in the malls," declared Captain Vanessa Kight, 88th Precinct Executive Officer, at the monthly meeting of the 88th Precinct Community and Youth Council, held at the Cadman Memorial Church in Clinton Hill.

Even though four officers are assigned to the malls at various times, there have been 195 crimes so far this calendar year at the malls, notably the snatching of unattended purses. (Here's a list of recent purse-snatchings at Target, in The Local, the New York Times's new blog.)

AYR cites the blight study:

Based on this data, which reflects incidents occurring within the Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal shopping and parking areas as well as on the surrounding sidewalks, it is unlikely that a large proportion of crimes in sector 88E occurred on the Atlantic Center or Atlantic Terminal premises. For example, while there were 39 robberies in sector 88E in 2005, the shopping center security records indicate that no robberies occurred that year at Atlantic Center or Atlantic Terminal. Similarly, while there were 115 grand larceny crimes reported for sector 88E in 2005, the shopping center security force recorded only one incident of larceny that same year. Although crimes catalogued by the Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal security staff are not necessarily the same as those catalogued by the NYPD, the relatively low number of crimes reported at the shopping centers indicates that the high crime rate in sector 88E is more likely a result of crimes occurring on the project site than in Atlantic Center or Atlantic Terminal.
(Emphasis added)

What a crock.

Remember, Jim Stuckey, then president of the Atlantic Yards Development Group, straightfacedly told WNYC talk show host Brian Lehrer in July 2006, ""The crime in these [AY footprint] areas is substantially higher than areas around it."

What a crock.


More coverage...

The Local (Fort Greene/Clinton Hill) [NY Times blog], The Day: Captain Tasso Responds

Way back on Day 1, we solicited your questions for the commanding officer of the 88th Precinct, Captain Anthony Tasso.

The Captain has now spoken. He has much to impart, including the shocking but not surprising news that a huge portion of the officially tallied crime in the precinct — perhaps a quarter, perhaps more — consists of purse-snatchings and other grand larcenies at Target and its neighbors at the Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center malls.

This statistic is of interest not only to those concerned about the amount of police manpower and womanpower the mall consumes but to Atlantic Yards critics like Norman Oder. He notes this morning that the mall crime figure gives the lie to the Empire State Development Corporation’s claim that “the high crime rate in sector 88E is more likely a result of crimes occurring on the project site” — that is, the area that AY developer Forest City Ratner convinced the state to declare “blighted” and seize for eminent domain — than in the developer’s two malls.)

BrooklynPaper.com, His ‘Target’ is purses

A deft purse-snatcher robbed three women in Target on Flatbush Avenue while their shopping carts were momentarily unattended on the afternoon of March 15.

The first filching occurred at 2:30 pm when a 30-year-old woman said someone stole her cellphone, debit card and driver’s license from her cart while she bent down to look at a pair of shoes.

An hour and a half later at the same store in the Bruce Ratner-controlled mall, a woman, 32, said a thief took her purse, containing two cellphones and $1,300, when she retrieved some items from a shelf.

NoLandGrab: It's amazing how much crime has increased in Ratner's malls since the Atlantic Yards blight study was concluded.

Posted by eric at March 18, 2009 11:51 AM