This is an economically strong
district; what it needs is supplemental security and supplemental sanitation so that all of our businesses will
have a customer friendly environment.
B. Review of Accomplishments
When the Fifth Avenue BID plan was
conceived twenty years ago, we had very visible signs of poor security practices within this
district. There were 3 Card Monte frauds operating without interference; there were
pick pocket teams so obviously working the area that Tiffany & Co. produced a
their modus operandi; and there were illegal street peddlers
selling counterfeit merchandise openly just outside the stores selling those legal
A walk down the Avenue today presents
a vastly different atmosphere than the beginning of the 1990s: the 3 Card Monte games are gone, the pick
pocket teams have mostly dried up and the sale of counterfeit merchandise has
This is not to say that there are no
security issues within the district. The relatively new problem of aggressive CD peddlers who intimidate pedestrians
to “buy” their products, is an example of a current criminal activity that we
must monitor and address. In April of 2012 there was a robbery by a CD
peddler that not only illustrates this issue but also perfectly depicts how we work
with local police to curtail these incidents.
A group of Asian tourists approached
one of our security officers in front of 677 Fifth Avenue and informed him that one of them had just been robbed by
a group of three CD peddlers near 53rd Street. After taking a
description and notifying our dispatcher our security officer spotted a Midtown North
police car, flagged it down and they proceeded to the location of the robbery.
officer spotted one of the robbers hiding behind a food vendor and assisted
the police officers with the arrest.
This kind of cooperative enforcement
become a deterrent when the word spreads among the street people; illegal CD peddling dropped sharply over
the next few months.
The following chart of the seven major
crimes tracked by the Federal Government is a snapshot of the progress made during the last eighteen