New York Subways See Less Thievery, But More Violent Assaults This Year

New York Subways See Less Thievery, But More Violent Assaults This Year

By Yehudit Garmaise

While subway riders are experiencing less robbery on the New York City subway this year, they greatly fear violent assaults, the rates of which remain high.

After last year’s large increase in the police on duty underground, Justin Fox of Bloomberg wondered whether violent incidents “are harder to deter through law enforcement than, say, pickpocketing.”

If subway robbery continues to decrease at its current rate until the end of the year, major subway theft will end up with 13.4% fewer incidents this year than in 2019 and lower than most of the last 25 years.

While careening through the city underground, what subway riders are fearing now are unprovoked attacks, the rates of which the NYPD says are higher this year than any time in the last 25 years.

Since 2019, assault that causes physical injury, which is called felony assault, have tragically remained high.

From 2013 to 2019, the incidents per ride of felony assaults rose 89%, and then jumped an additional 150% from 2019 to 2022. 

Fox attributes the rise in violence underground to the “more troubled people on New York’s subways than before the pandemic, and less-crowded stations and cars have made it easier for them to make trouble. 

“For-profit subway crime hasn’t risen; senseless acting-out has.”

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