Officials Downplay Reports of Casino Crime Spike

Responding to recent reports regarding a spike in small crimes around Resorts World Casino, Community Board 10 chairwoman Betty Bratton told residents last week that previous reports of a crime wave were exaggerated.

“Rumor City is abounding,” she said, regarding a potential crime wave happening around the area due to the casino.

At the Feb. 2 meeting of Community Board 10, Bratton took issue with a previous report by the New York Post, which reported that petit larcenies and misdemeanor assaults jumped up two months after the racino opened in Ozone Park, compared to November and December of last year.

There were 92 petit larcenies in November compared to 60 in November 2010, and 41 misdemeanor assaults compared to 26 in November 2010, the Post reported, while a smaller increase in such crimes occurred in December.

While Bratton acknowledged that there were indications of crime rising in the 106th Precinct, she added, “Are we having a crime wave happening? No.”

Captain Thomas Pascale of the 106th Precinct said that the crowds coming into the casino have been steadily increasing; however,he added, the precinct has not been seeing much crime activity lately in the surrounding communities that they could link directly to the casino.

“There is some [casino] related crime which is going to happen, just as it would if it were a shopping mall or anything else,” he said.

According to 311 reports—comprised of 1,900 calls—that the board has received for the month of January, the top five complaints were, ranked in order, heating complaints, blocked driveways,street conditions, building use and street lighting conditions.

Bratton acknowledged that the blocked driveways issues were related to the casino – but she added that police efforts have reduced such complaints last month as opposed to when they first arose during the casino’s opening in late October.

By Jean-Paul Salamanca


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