01/18/2011 04:11 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Violence Spiked In City Housing Projects In 2010

New York housing projects experienced a steep rise in violence last year.

A sharp spike in Bronx murders and Harlem shootings were primary causes of the increase.

"You can't avoid it," said Maria Rojas-Garcia, a resident of Edenwald Houses in the Bronx. "We got everything here. Just last summer a young man was shot in front of our building. There is no peace."

One admitted gang member, Jason Miller, told the Daily News he was not surprised by the violence.

"People are animals here," Miller said. "They hurt each other for no reason. You have to hang with the right crew."

From the Daily News:

The Edenwald Houses is one of 14 developments covered by police officers assigned to Police Service Area 8, a division of the NYPD's Housing Bureau in the east and north Bronx.

Police did not have statistical breakdowns by housing development, but the numbers show that PSA 8 investigated 14 murders last year, up from two in 2009. There were 37 shootings at those houses, compared with 14 in 2009.

54 people were shot at Manhattan projects last year, compared with 37 in 2009.

NYPD Spokesperson Paul Browne said his department was taking several steps to combat the rising violence.

"We address crime spikes experienced in public housing with housing impact deployments, sometimes coordinated with precinct and transit impact teams, among many other strategies," Browne said.

The NYPD also notes that the increases come on the heels of several years of declining crime rates.