BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to the Buffalo Police Department, shootings were up 87% in 2020.
January is looking grim for crime in the city in 2021. According to Buffalo Police, 33 people were shot last month. Of those 33 people, eight of them died.
Compared to 2020, those numbers are high. During the same month a year ago, there were 11 shooting victims and three shooting homicides.
Police say they believe it’s the state of the world we live in right now. The Buffalo Police Union is extremely concerned.
“There’s no consequences anymore for illegal acts,” said John Evans of the BPA. “Crime is spiraling out of control.”
Buffalo Police Deputy Commissioner Joeseph Gramaglia says many judges are lenient on gun defendants, and bail is not being set high enough.
“People carrying loaded handguns need to have consequences and they need to be held in jail. Appropriate bail needs to be set. Releasing gun defendants on their own recognizance, to me, there’s no excuse for it,” he said.”
Buffalo Police say not all city crime is up. Violent Crime consists of homicides, robbery, rape and aggravated assault which includes shootings. While homicide numbers and aggravated assaults are up significantly from this time last year, rape and robbery are down, the department says. Police say the “statistics” for the violent crime grouping shows as a whole, violent crime is down 16% from last year.
Still police say they lean on the community for help, like members of the SNUG Anti-violence group.
“We don’t just respond to shootings,” said Billie Webster of SNUG. “We prevent things from happening.”
Webster says getting to the community has been challenging in the time of COVID-19.