Rising crime: New York on the defensive

Status: 06/17/2022 18:18

Violent crimes are on the rise in New York, and many no longer feel safe. Self-defense courses are therefore becoming increasingly popular.

lähde: Antje Passenheim, ARD Studio New York

Your opponent has nothing to laugh about. Anna Muehlenhaupt’s blows hit his head and chest. A kick between his legs disables a man-sized doll. “I can beat someone and run. The most important thing is to be careful first – but then stop someone from watching you. And then you leave as soon as possible.”

Antje Passenheim

To find out, Muehlenhaupt signed up to study in Hell’s Kitchen, a Manhattan neighborhood. And he’s immersed in a street fight. Krav Maga, her chosen self-defense technique, comes from Israel. Thanks to that, the people there join the army in a few months. Muehlenhaupt balance:

I see that more and more people are doing this, because crime is growing here. It has become more visible since the pandemic. Many people continue to work from home – and the buffer zone between those who go out and those who want to do something for them has shrunk.

“I can beat someone and run,” says Anna Muehlenhaupt.

Image: Miriam Brown

Subway station as a special problem

Shooting, robbery, subway violence: crime in New York has been rising since the pandemic. According to police statistics, at the end of March there were about 37 percent more cases than a year earlier. 16 percent more homicides, 60 percent more cases of major thefts. But the threat is growing above all: According to surveys, three out of four people feel dangerous in the metropolis.

Underpasses are a particular problem: there are reports of violence, stabbing and stabbing almost every day. The young man suddenly shoved a 52-year-old woman into the shaft. And a 19-year-old girl was entering a Lower East Side subway station with a friend when a man hit her in the back of the head.

He says, “I didn’t know what was happening to me. I thought one of my friends was kidding. I shouted, ‘Who is this? And suddenly a friend in front of me sees what is happening and screams. He leaves me.’ there Go, stab me in the back and run. “

The gym boss warns: Cellphone away, eyes open

More and more New Yorkers are afraid of becoming another victim of violence, says Matan Gavish, head of the Fit Hit gym: “I think the reason is that we are seeing more aggressive behavior in the areas where we have done it. Do not do it. During the day – at one, two, three o’clock in the afternoon, when people do not normally experience it. “

Self-defense courses are on the rise across the city. Whether in neighborhood groups in the middle of Central Park or in classes like Gavish. 90 percent of its participants are women, he says.

The face of the city has changed. Many have left them. You see growing homelessness, drug addiction, mental health problems – all of which are creating a new form of violence in the city.

For a long time he was the head coach of Krav Maga Academy and since 2018 the general director of “Fit Hit”: Matan Gavish

Image: Miriam Brown

Mayor Eric Adams has made this a priority. The expolicist promised a lot, but little happened. Gavish from the gym says New Yorkers need to be careful and rethink their habits. He advises his customers as rule number one: “Put down the phone, open your eyes, watch what’s happening around you.”

Even Krav student Maga Muelenhaupt takes it to heart: “Where’s the best place in the subway? Scan the car, watch what’s going on around you in the reflection of the window, keep everything under control. I do it everywhere I go.” In the past, they would call their friends crazy. Today they wanted her address for a self-defense course.

New Yorkers in self-defense – armed against growing violence

Antje Passenheim, ARD New York, June 16, 2022 10:48 PM

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