The city’s top cop Tuesday blamed the surge of crimes in New York City on the failure to keep suspects in custody on Rikers Island.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the rising statistics on robbery, stolen cars, things of that nature is due to the fact that some criminals who are supposed to be behind bars are now free outside of jail.
“I mean, if you look now, I think we’re at about 5,400 [inmates] and change in Rikers Island,” Shea said.
“It was almost 6,100 about a month and a half ago. So that’s another factor of this — that you know, all of these things play into what we’re seeing on the street. But we’re out there, we’re fighting, and we’re gonna hold the line for New Yorkers,” Shea added.
Shea made the news last September after he criticized City Hall’s plan to prematurely release dozens of Rikers Island inmates from the out-of-control jail — a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio said the prisoners would be set free in an early-release program as part of his administration’s efforts to reduce the number of detainees there.
“My position would be — the people that are in Rikers Island worked awfully hard to get in there,” he said.
“And I’m worried about the people in New York City on the street, so my position would be people that are in there deserve to stay in there,” he added.