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Ex-Gov. Paterson says there is ‘rampant fear of crime’ in NYC

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Former Gov. David Paterson says Mayor Eric Adams may be right about the media “hyping up crime” in the Big Apple — but the fear of “rampant” unlawfulness is very real and driving many New Yorkers to flee the Empire State.

“What Mayor Adams has tried to say from time to time… is that the media is typing up a log of these high-profile cases and that that scares the public,” Paterson told host John Catsimatidis on WABC-770’s “Cat’s Roundtable” on Sunday.

“I think Mayor Adams is right,” the ex-governor said. “I understand how he feels. You know, you work real hard to try to make changes, you make some changes, and they’re never gonna be highlighted as much as the horrific crimes that occur.

“But I think we can all agree generally that there is a rampant fear of crime by most residents of the city, and of course, there are a lot of people who moved out of the city.”

A recent Siena College poll found that 41% of New Yorkers have never been as worried about crime as they are now. A whopping 87% said crime is a very serious or somewhat serious concern.


New York City crime.
There is a very real “rampant fear of crime” in New York City and the state that is driving many residents to flee, ex-Gov. David Paterson said Sunday — while agreeing with Mayor Eric Adams that the media may be “hyping up” some incidents.
Christopher Sadowski

Mayor Eric Adams.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has claimed media reports of crime in the Big Apple are “hyping up” fears.
Getty Images

New York City crime.
A new Siena College poll found that 41% of Empire State residents are more concerned about crime now than they’ve ever been.
Christopher Sadowski

In an interview on Fox 5 New York on Wednesday, Adams blamed the media for sparking the fear.

“They start their day picking up the news, the morning papers,” he told anchor Rosanna Scotto, “and they see some of the most horrific events that may happen throughout the previous day.

“Plays on your psyche,” Adams said.

But Paterson said the fear among New Yorkers is very real — and could have a ripple effect.

“The problem is as people leave, that decreases the number of people that can pay taxes,” he told Catsimatidis. “You can tax the rich all you want, but there’ll come a point where there’s a breaking point where you’re not going to have enough money to balance your budget because you don’t have enough people in the jurisdiction to pay for some of the great changes.”

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