Here's some information from the NYPD. There were 11 muggings in the 34th Precinct in the last week of October and 36 muggings during the entire month. This represents increases of 83% and 125%, respectively, over similar periods in 2009. This increase is very significant and explains the NYPD's decision to dramatically and temporarily increase the number of police officers in the precinct.
Note that this is NOT part of a similar surge citywide, where muggings are up only about 9% over last year's figures. The increase in this precinct probably reflects two trends in the neighborhoods that comprise the precinct: a dramatic increase in the number of middle class residents in Upper Manhattan combined with a dramatic reduction in the number of jobs available to teenagers and unskilled twenty-somethings (affluence next to economic desperation equals crime). These trends have coincided with a reduction in the number of police officers assigned to the precinct full-time.
More to come on this topic in the future.
UPDATE: The Manhattan Times is reporting that the NYPD has caught the suspect who officers think is responsible for many or most of the recent muggings in Hudson Heights.