Subway crime is down for the more than six-month period from the beginning of 2021 to July 18 compared to the same range in 2020, but felony assaults spiked, according to NYPD data.
Crimes underground have sparked fear and debate over policing and safety in New York City, especially as the area rebounds from COVID-19 shutdowns while still grappling with calls for police reform.
Year to date, the number of felony assaults is 40% greater than it was at this time last year, data shows; assaults have accounted for the vast majority of the outrage over subway safety.
Overall transit crime also fell in June after more than 1,100 NYPD officers were deployed in the subway system, an MTA official said Sunday.
The addition of officers came after months of MTA requests and amid a surge in subway platform attacks.
“The recent decline in transit crime started in June, following the addition of more than 1,100 NYPD officers to the subway system — which came after months of MTA requests,” an MTA spokesperson said Sunday. “The trend is good news for our riders and is reflective of the MTA’s ‘all of the above’ approach to improving safety and security in the transit system — with additional security personnel, cameras and increased ridership.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday stressed the importance of mass transit for New Yorkers.
“If they can’t depend on the subway, the city doesn’t work,” he said. “The subway is the heartbeat of the city, heartbeat of the entire metropolitan area.”
Some subway crimes are up when looking at a smaller timetable: for the Monday to Sunday week of July 12 to July 18, subway robberies were up from two to nine, though that is only compared to the exact same week in 2020. Grand larcenies were up as well.
The same is true for the 28-day range ending on July 18 compared to that same stretch in 2020 — both robberies and grand larcenies were up compared to the same 28 days last year.
PIX11’s Nicole Johnson and Anthony DiLorenzo contributed.