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Sick of the violent crimes, New York is ready to clean up Times Square

Times Square is a major NYC attraction. Dnyuz quotes Mayor Eric Adams as calling it “the heart of our tourist dollar…our anchor”. Though not as busy after the pandemic, Times Square still sees several thousand visitors, 240,000 to 280,000, daily. Unfortunately, this tourist attraction isn’t as nice as it used to be.

Since April, Times Square has seen countless attacks. According to Dnyuz, this violence has led to the residents and workers continuously voicing their concerns. Considering what they see daily, homelessness, mentally unstable people, and heroin users, their worries are more than justified. Other crimes, including homicide, larceny, petty theft, and assault have increased.

The amount of migrants that have moved to the New York City area over the past two years has impacted methods of improving Times Square as well. With hotels being contracted to house them for the time being, Dnyuz explains, paraphrasing Mayor Adams, it’s difficult for the city to provide support for housing and mental health.

Thankfully, New Yorkers are not ready to let this iconic area fall. The NY police, as stated by Dnyuz, have said that continuous help and support from officers, city officials, and community groups have helped decrease major crime by 13% and increase arrests made for drug-related crimes by 14%. Mayor Eric Adams also announced the Midtown Community Improvement Coalition, which will manage any continuous complaints.

Police presence, according to Dnyuz, in Times Square and the Eighth Avenue corridor between Penn Station and Port Authority is planned to increase. Meanwhile, N.Y.C’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor has been investigating Times Square’s drug dealers since 2022, leading to over 320 people being prosecuted for such felonies.

It’s not just the law that is helping though. Over 20 agencies, including mental health and homelessness services, have reached out, willing to provide resources and address issues. The Times Square Alliance has, with other organizations, formed “Community First”. This new program plans to focus on reducing homelessness, mental health problems, and drug use.

Though Times Square residents are afraid, the future looks hopeful. If the city sticks to these new plans, and the community is willing to help, we should surely see an improvement in the environment of Times Square.

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