Donald Trump falsely claimed that crime rates in Manhattan have reached record levels

By: Christian Haag
April 6 2023

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Donald Trump falsely claimed that crime rates in Manhattan have reached record levels


The Verdict False

Crime in Manhattan and New York reached record levels in the 1990s. The increase in crime in 2022 was for all of New York and not Manhattan alone.

Claim ID 220b82f1


Ahead of Donald Trump’s indictment, the former U.S. President claimed on his social media platform Truth Social that violent and vicious crime in Manhattan has skyrocketed to record levels. The claim was aimed at targeting New York County District Attorney (DA) Alvin Bragg, who was the first prosecutor to bring criminal charges against a former American President. These claims were repeated over the month by Trump and his allies, including Republican politicians Ron DeSantis, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Mike Pence.

In Fact

Statistics from the New York Police Department (NYPD) clearly show that violent crime reached record levels in the 1990s. The NYPD publishes data on crime statistics using Compstats on a weekly basis for each of the New York boroughs and precincts. Logically looked at data for violent crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and auto grand larceny up to March 26, 2023, and looked at specific years for comparison. Manhattan statistics are separated between north and south Manhattan. In 2022, there were 34,746 reports of violent crime, compared to 148,629 cases in 1990. PolitiFact has also checked these statistics and presents the same information.

The NYPD did report an increase in violent crime of 22 percent in 2022 compared to 2021. However, these numbers refer to all New York City boroughs together— not just Manhattan. When comparing the first months of 2022 with 2023, south Manhattan has seen a slight increase of 2.4 percent in criminal complaints reported, but north Manhattan recorded a decrease of 4.3 percent. In numbers, the same period of 2022 by this time of year saw 7,143 reported criminal complaints in all of Manhattan, compared to 7,102 in 2023.

Following Trump's indictment by a vote by Manhattan grand jury on March 30, 2023, Trump and his supporters made new claims echoing the narrative that Trump is being indicted to redirect focus from a supposed new crime wave in New York and Manhattan. Speaker Kevin McCarthy called the indictment an "outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump”. In a similar vein, on April 2, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene posted a video concerning violence on subways, commenting that "Alvin Bragg's district is a free-for-all of violent crime." However, statistics from the NYPD do not support a sudden rise in crime. Trump's claims appear to redirect focus from his indictment and are not supported by statistics. On April 4, the Manhattan Criminal courthouse charged Trump with 34 felonies for falsifying business records.

Logically has reached out to the NYPD for comment but has yet to receive a reply. By any measure, crime rates are far from the record levels of the 1990s. NYPD crime stat data shows that in 1990, New York had in total registered 527,257 criminal complaints—including 100,280 robberies and 3,126 cases of rape. In 2022, 126,588 criminal complaints were registered, including 17,411 robberies and 1,616 cases of rape.

The Verdict

Trump supporters have misread and manipulated statistics to claim that crime in Manhattan has increased. They have conflated limited data on all of New York City for Manhattan. Since 2022 crime rates have reduced in comparison to 1990s crime rates, we mark this claim false.

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