New York City residents who spoke with Fox News sounded the alarm on the city’s crime problem, with one equating the Big Apple to "the wild, wild West."
"The city has regressed the past eight years under the mayor," Gabriel, a lifelong New Yorker who works near Times Square, told Fox News in an interview.
"Crime in the subways, old women getting robbed … homicide going up, people getting shot, shootings are up, killings are up, and he’s aloof – he's walking in Prospect Park, enjoying his daily stroll or going to YMCA," he continued, referring to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Another lifelong New Yorker, Chris, told Fox News, agreeing with Gabriel: "Liberals. Liberals are killing this city, absolutely killing it."
"It's a disgrace," Chris added. "The wild, wild West."
Overall crime rose by almost 3% in September 2021 compared to September 2020, and robberies increased by 6%, according to New York City Police Department data. New York City and other large metropolitan areas have faced crime surges following the 2020 push to defund police departments.
The largest increase in New York was for felonious assault – or assault with a dangerous weapon – which surged by nearly 19% from 1,802 in September 2020 to 2,135 in September 2021.
A New Jersey nurse died last week after an alleged mugger shoved her to the ground in Times Square, cracking her head.
"The crime situation has gotten extremely bad," John, a commuter from New Jersey, told Fox News.
Brittany, a 21-year-old who was born and raised in the city said: "It is dangerous out here, even if you’re from here."
She told Fox News she has family members who were robbed in recent months.
"I’m even scared to have my phone in my back pocket, I'm even scared to have my bag open," she told Fox News.
John added: "We have a huge mental crisis with our homeless population. They belong in institutions, not on the street."
A Spider-Man impersonator named Jay told Fox News: "A lot of people are acting out and not necessarily knowing why they’re acting out."
Brittany also expressed her concerns about the homeless population suffering from mental illness.
"They definitely do be a little bit easy on people like that," she told Fox News. "Once you say that you’re sick, they try to put you in a home to help that and then they just let them go from there."
A retired New Yorker named Mike Martino added: "We're going to have to talk to the judicial system about whether or not they should be releasing these individuals without cash bail."
A bail reform law went into effect in January 2020 that made release before trial automatic for most people accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. In other cases, including violent felonies and some domestic violence- or sex-related charges, the law required the judge to consider a person’s ability to pay bail.
"Public safety is number one," he continued. "They just can't keep a revolving door with these criminals."