New York City

‘Harvey Weinstein Effect’: NYC Rape Reports Are Up, Police Officials Say

Murders are down in New York City this year but rape reports have increased in what police officials are calling the Harvey Weinstein effect. 

Reported rapes were up 15 percent in November compared to the same time last year, from 96 to 111, NYPD officials announced at their monthly crime statistics briefing Monday. 

October and November saw back-to-back months of double-digit increases in the number of reported rapes, which NYPD Compstat Chief Dermot Shea suggested may be attributable to the news about infamous rape cases.

"It would be difficult to ignore what's going on in the media in the last couple months," Shea said. 

While not all the rapes that have been reported recently took place this year -- 285 of them were from other years, and are older cases -- the surge of victims coming forward suggests survivors are feeling more confident they will be believed in the wake of recent sex assault allegations that have toppled some of Hollywood's most powerful men. 

Other factors are at play as well, according to the NYPD: human trafficking is on the rise, and officers have been added to the special victims squad. 

Meanwhile, police officials estimate there will have been fewer than 300 murders in New York City by year's end, the first time in modern recorded history that's happened. 

As of Dec. 1, there have been 259 murders in New York City. Last year at this time, there were 313. The number of murders in the city is on pace to stay below 300 for the year to date.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill credits the public for embracing the neighborhood policing strategy in helping bring down murder numbers. Under that strategy, cops spend a third of their time walking the beat, and police who live and work in the precincts even call in tips to their neighborhood beat police officers directly. 

Transit crimes are up 9.4 percent, from 216 to 232. 

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