New York City Got Rid Of Its Controversial Stop-And-Frisk — And Crime Continues To Drop

Here's why crime rates aren't on the rise.

The crime rate in New York City has never been lower. 

That reality may be tough to believe for some political pundits and legal experts who thought the city's decision to put an end to the controversial stop-and-frisk policy would cause crime rates to explode. Instead, as stop-and-frisk has been phased out of police tactics, crime in New York City has continued to plummet. 


There were a total of just 290 homicides in New York throughout all of 2017. It was the fewest ever on record, and gave Mayor Bill de Blasio — who ran on a campaign to end stop-and-frisk — four of the five years with the fewest homicides in New York. 

In 2011, stop-and-frisk was used 686,000 times across the city. In 2016, it was only used 12,000 times. Despite that, the crime rates in 2016 were far lower than those in 2011. 

But if you look back to 2013, when de Blasio ran on ending a policing ritual that was ruled unconstitutional and was widely deemed as prejudiced against Blacks and Hispanics, many people thought the end of stop-and-frisk meant a new era of crime.

The New York Post and The New York Daily News both blasted the rollback in editorials, warning that crime would rise. Donald Trump, years before running for president, said that stop-and-frisk needed to be reinstated to keep crime in Black communities down. As a candidate, he called for a nationwide stop-and-frisk policy. Even Kyle Smith, a conservative columnist for The National Review, wrote a column declaring "We Were Wrong About Stop-and-Frisk." 

Others are more reluctant to concede stop-and-frisk was a bad idea in the first place. Heather Mac Donald said stop-and-frisk made New York City safer, which brought on gentrification, which led to a further downturn in crime. But even in her telling of it, it's impossible to ignore that stop-and-frisk definitively did not lead to more crime in New York City.

For that, we can all be happy.

Cover image via pisaphotography /

More From A Plus


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.