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Cities Concentrate on Rising Transit Crime

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Homeless people who’ve taken refuge in New York’s subway system to flee chilling temperatures will likely be moved to shelters below a plan introduced by New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The Subway Security Plan initiative comes as the town has skilled a startling spike in transit crimes, together with six slashing incidents over the weekend, reviews to the New York Instances and NBC Information.

“Let’s be clear on this, [the homeless] aren’t harmful,” Adams stated, . “The overwhelming majority aren’t harmful, however we’ve to be trustworthy concerning the variety of people coping with psychological well being crises. They’re harmful to themselves and harmful to New Yorkers.”

Crimes on the general public transit system have elevated by 65 % this yr.

Adams and Hochul introduced that the state would ship 600 new psychiatric beds, and one other 500 beds to shelters throughout the town to try to present assist for these affected by extreme psychological sickness. 

Additionally they introduced that the state will even be investing $9 million a yr to recruit psychiatrists and nurses as Adams stated 30 groups of service and well being employees would even be deployed to work alongside NYPD all through the subway system.

“It’s merciless and inhumane to permit unhoused folks to reside on the subway, and unfair to paying passengers and transit employees who deserve a clear, orderly, and protected surroundings,” Adams stated in a assertion. “The times of turning a blind eye to this rising drawback are over.”

Violent NYC Weekend

Following Adams and Hochul’s announcement on Friday, New Yorkers descended right into a violent weekend the place not less than six folks had been stabbed or slashed in impartial incidents, in addition to one other particular person attacked by a disturbed particular person wielding a hatchet, and one other incident with a person being attacked by somebody wielding a steel pipe, NBC Information particulars.

Nobody was killed, though the situation of a girl stabbed thrice within the stomach on Saturday stays unknown, the New York Submit particulars.

“Subway crime is uncontrolled,” fumed Kevin Younger, 36, who was a sufferer of a subway stabbing on February 12 of this yr. 

The incident occurred round 5:45 am on the Union Sq. subway station when he stepped off a southbound Q prepare. Younger tells the New York Submit how he by chance bumped right into a disturbed passenger, who then took out a blade and slashed Younger throughout the face, hand, and behind the ear.

“For criminals, the subway is target-rich and escape from detection and arrest is simple,” stated Michael Alcazar, a retired NYPD detective who’s now an adjunct professor at John Jay Faculty of Legal Justice. “The transportation is in-built.”

One other John Jay professor, Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant, advised the NY Submit, “Once I was a cop, I all the time feared sharp devices greater than weapons. They’re simple to get, simpler to hide, and trigger numerous harm. … One easy resolution is to implement turnstile leaping once more, however half of the Metropolis Council will lose their minds. The NYPD is in a no-win scenario.”

Transit Crime in Different Main Cities

Whereas New York Metropolis is at present grappling with an increase in transit crime, another cities have been as effectively.

In Portland earlier final month, TriMet public prepare transit administrators introduced modifications to bolster public security and safety, notably as operator assaults have been a continued problem for the company. With these modifications, law enforcement officials at the moment are directed to not verify prepare fares to keep away from battle, OPB Information particulars.

Final fall, in Philadelphia, SEPTA subway transit leaders created a security committee after riders and SEPTA staff raised alarms of the rising variety of folks hooked on medicine, experiencing homelessness, and affected by severe psychological sickness creating disturbances throughout journey, making many really feel unsafe, The Philadelphia Inquirer particulars.

SEPTA is now spending $3.6 million on social service specialists to crew up with law enforcement officials and to work in high-volume stations.

Additionally final fall, crime on Los Angeles trains and buses have been on the rise as many riders return to work. In 2021, via September, reviews of violent crimes had been up 25 % from the identical time final yr and 9 % from 2019, in response to L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority knowledge reported on by the Los Angeles Instances.

To that finish, not all cities are seeing an increase in public transit crime. 

Based on most up-to-date knowledge, the Boston Globe particulars that the MBTA transit system continued to see the “lowest crime charge in historical past for 4 consecutive years,” Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan shared final yr.

Andrea Cipriano is affiliate editor of The Crime Report.


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