On August 12, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg said:

Our crime strategies and tools – including Stop-Question-Frisk – have made New York City the safest big city in America.


As a result, today we have fewer guns, fewer shootings, and fewer homicides.


Today, we have the lowest percentage of teenagers carrying guns of any major city across our country – and the possibility of being stopped acts a vital deterrent, which is a critically important byproduct of Stop-Question-Frisk.


There is just no question that Stop-Question-Frisk has saved countless lives.


Stop-Question-Frisk has helped us prevent those and other crimes from occurring – which has not only saved lives, it has helped us to reduce incarceration rates by 30 percent, even as incarceration rates in the rest of the nation have gone up.

Is it true that Stop-Question-Frisk (also known as Stop and Frisk) has helped to make New York City the safest big city in America?

Is it true that as a result Stop-Question-Frisk, New York has fewer guns, fewer shootings, and fewer homicides?

  • 5
    -1 And you have the control to prove this experiment... where? Criminology is complicated. It is true that crime in NYC has dropped dramatically over the past twenty years while Stop and Frisk has been in effect. It's also true that a whole ton of other things that have been conclusively linked to some reduction in crime have also been happening in NYC over those years. The exact impact of Stop and Frisk is fundamentally unprovable, as long as the program is still in effect, (which it admittedly won't be for long). There's a reason it's controversial. Aug 23, 2013 at 3:08
  • 10
    +1, good question. “X is complicated” is no excuse to say “let’s all just give up and go home”. We have a notable claim of causality here. The question asks whether this claim is true / reasonable. That’s an answerable and important question. Explaining about the difficulty and limitations of proving causality would of course complement such an answer, but doesn’t invalidate the question. Aug 23, 2013 at 10:35
  • 3
    @KonradRudolph Enjoy whatever propaganda and selective choice of statistics some partisan decides to post as an answer then. Because I assure you, that's all you'll get. Aug 23, 2013 at 12:20
  • 3
    @LessPop_MoreFizz Why not take a shot yourself then? To be honest I don’t understand your concerns at all. Your comments so far, with a bit of write-up and proper sourcing, seem like the start of a good answer. Aug 23, 2013 at 13:26
  • 1
    some info to the contrary huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/13/…
    – vartec
    Aug 26, 2013 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


I am going to detail the of the failures of stop and frisk over the past decade that are not so readily publicized, but still can be quoted from the NYCLU's Stop and Frisk Facts:


In 2002, there were 1,892 victims of gunfire and 97,296 stops. In 2011, there were still 1,821 victims of gunfire but a record 685,724 stops.

Illegal Weapons

Guns are found in less than 0.2 percent of stops. That is an unbelievably poor yield rate for such an intrusive, wasteful and humiliating police action. Yet, stop-and-frisk has increased more than 600 percent under Bloomberg and Kelly. And the rate of finding guns is worsening as the NYPD stops more innocent people each year.

The footnotes on the NYCLU's Stop and Frisk Facts page say,

1 All crime data are from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.
2 Data on shooting victims obtained by Murray Weiss of DNAinfo and reported on June 5, 2010.

But what about falling rates of crime?

New York City is not alone in having far lower rates of violent crime than in the year 2000. Since 2000, rates of violent crime have fallen in NYC by 29%. However, in New Orleans (no stop and frisk) they fell 56%, in Los Angeles (no stop and frisk) they fell 59%, in Dallas (no stop and frisk) they fell 49%, and in Baltimore (no stop and frisk) they fell 37%. (these cities respective police departments)

From this data is seems quite apparent that stop and frisk has accomplished very little, with the reduction in crime rates caused by other factors, as it was in the above mentioned cities.

  • 2
    Hyperlinks please.
    – Golden Cuy
    Aug 26, 2013 at 13:02
  • 3
    These statements presented here make the value of the stop-and-frisk process highly suspect, and that makes this a good answer. However to qualify as an answer on this site you are obliged to provide references that support your answer. Could you please edit your answer or advise in a comment where you gleaned the above information? Thanks Arthur. Aug 26, 2013 at 14:14
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    I failed to find the cited report on the dnainfo.com/new-york/search web site.
    – ChrisW
    Aug 26, 2013 at 14:46

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