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NYC subway crime down 6% with steep drops in robberies and assaults, NYPD says

The drop comes after the department stationed 1,000 more officers in the subway system to combat crime and fare evasion


Police respond to the Fourth Avenue - Ninth Street subway station in Brooklyn after a 16-year-old was fatally struck by a train on March 26, 2024, in New York. (Gardiner Anderson/New York Daily News/TNS)

Gardiner Anderson/TNS

By Evan Simko-Bednarski
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Major felonies on the subway system are down 6.4% in the first four months of 2024 after a winter of high-profile subterranean crimes, according to NYPD stats released Monday.

“What a difference a few months make,” Norman Grandstaff, deputy chief of the NYPD’s Transit Bureau, said Monday at a meeting of the MTA’s board.

The bulk of that reduction is due to a 25% drop in robberies and a 5% decrease in felony assaults from the same Jan. 1 to April 28 period last year.

Murders are up, with four so far this year compared with two homicides committed on subways by this time last year.

Rapes are holding steady with two reported this year.

However, misdemeanor petty larcenies, defined as theft of less than $1,000 in value, are up 38% in the subway system.

Grandstaff attributed the results to the city’s decision to put more than 1,000 more cops into the system.

“That plan paid off immediate dividends,” he said, adding, “we’re encouraged by this trend.”

Major crimes are down 10.6% to date over the same period in 2019.

Arrests are up systemwide, with 6,545 arrests — 57% more than the 4,171 made by this time last year.

Of those, 1,212 were felony arrests, up 12% from last year. The bulk of the arrests this year — 4,858 — have been for misdemeanor offenses, a 71% increase from last year. NYPD-issued violations have nearly doubled, from 244 by this point last year to 475 so far in 2024.

Arrests for weapons possession have gone up as well, with 24 arrests for gun possession — a 60% increase over 15 to date last year — and 634 arrests for possession of a knife — a 63% increase over 388 last winter.

Subway safety concerns have soared in recent months with several high-profile incidents, including three shooting homicides and one man shoved to his death within the first three months of the year.

The murders, along with an uptick in assaults on transit workers, have sparked a show of force from law enforcement, the deployment of the National Guard, and outsized technological promises from the mayor’s office regarding weapon-detection systems at subway stations.

Grandstaff said the NYPD would continue to focus on efforts to curb fare evasion — for which more than 40,000 summonses have been issued in 2024 — linking fare enforcement to system safety.

“We will continue our enhanced focus on fare evasion enforcement, as it brings so much value in our pursuit of public safety,” he said.

Fourteen of the 24 guns recovered this year were taken off of people stopped for suspected fare evasion.

“We’ve seen time and time again that while not all people who evade the fare are criminals, nearly all criminals who come into the system to prey on our riders evade the fare,” Grandstaff said.


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