NYC subway riders more likely to experience crime than pre-COVID, data shows

City straphangers are more likely to be victims of crime now than before the pandemic, according to data — yet NYPD brass insisted Monday that the media is to blame for “perceptions” of unsafety.

Last month, there were 2.14 crimes per million riders, dramatically higher than the pre-COVID August 2019 rate of 1.5 crimes per million riders, the latest figures show, reflecting an overall annual trend.

The increase is even more dismal considering there are substantially fewer straphangers now than before COVID, meaning more crimes are occurring against a smaller number of riders.

But speaking to board members Monday, NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey chose to focus on the average number of daily crimes in the system.

“In the month of August, we averaged 5.8 crimes a day … vs. 6.7 in 2019,’’ Corey said. “Alright, so a lot less crime happening in transit than was happening pre-pandemic.

“We are making measurable, sustained progress,’’ he said. “And I think that what’s getting lost here is that there is a narrative that’s inaccurate that’s driving people’s perceptions of how safe the subway really is.”

According to new crime data, New York City subway riders are more likely to experience crime now than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
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In August there were 2.14 crimes per million riders compared to the August 2019 rate of 1.5 crimes per million riders.
Christopher Sadowski

Corey, the NYPD’s top uniformed official, insisted that “the media” is driving public concerns about safety while riding.

He pointed to increased train patrols and a surge in arrests and summonses as evidence that NYPD action had resulted in safer subways.

Last month’s crime figure was down compared to the beginning of the year.

Transit officials on Monday also touted their own studies showing the number of homeless at transit hubs including Penn Station has dropped significantly this year.

NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey insisted that the media is creating a false narrative about subway crime.
Paul Martinka

The massive hub saw a 78% drop “in the number of homeless sheltered” in its commuter rail, subway and railroad facilities, MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren said.

“Personal safety concerns” remain at the top of concerns for  Long Island Railroad commuters who use the station, officials said.

The MTA’s latest customer survey of LIRR riders found high rates of dissatisfaction with “homeless at destination,” “erratic people at destination” and “personal security at destination,” they said.

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