By Jonathan Sperling
Reports of misdemeanor sex crimes are on the rise in Queens, despite an overall decrease in most other crime categories, NYPD statistics show.
CompStat data for precincts located in Queens North — which includes Ridgewood, Long Island City, Woodside, Flushing, Corona, Elmhurst and other nearby neighborhoods — shows a 71.9 percent increase in misdemeanor sex crime reports as of March 17, 2019 compared to the same time period last year. Sex crime reports rose from 64 between Jan. 1 and March 17, 2018 to 110 as of March 17 this year.
The increase in sex crimes is less extreme in Queens South, where reports of misdemeanor sex crimes increased 23.5 percent, from 51 to 63 as of March 17. Queens South includes the Rockaways, Richmond Hill, Jamaica, Queens Village and other areas in the southern portion of the borough.
In the same time frame, reports of robbery, burglary, grand larceny auto and misdemeanor assault have declined within Queens North. Reports of robbery, murder, felony assault, grand larceny auto and shootings have declined in Queens South.
The rise in sex crime reporting comes in the wake of the worldwide #MeToo movement, which highlighted the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault. Last April, the NYPD launched its "The Call is Yours" campaign, which serves to encourage sex crime reporting.
"For four years we have encouraged survivors of sexual assaults to reach out to us. This campaign is our latest step in that effort and will reach millions of New Yorkers with that message," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill in a statement. "We will investigate every single report."
“The Call is Yours” encourages sexual assault survivors to call 911 or the NYPD Special Victims Division's 24-hour hotline at 212-267-7273.