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What Is Actually Happening to Transit Crime Rates?




DOMINIC HALL-THOMAS, HOST

Early this morning, a subway conductor was attacked at the Rockaway Avenue stop in Bed–Stuy. He was slashed in the neck as he stuck his head out of the window of the train. 


We’re 2 months into the year, and there have been 2 murders and more than 50 assaults in subway stations and on trains. But, just last year, Mayor Adams announced crime rates in the city had significantly decreased. So, what’s going on? Uptown Radio’s Giulia Leo has been following the story. 


Can you break down what happened?


LEO

Sure. Around 3.40 a.m. this morning, conductor Alton Scott was on a southbound A train that had just reached the Rockaway Avenue station. As conductors usually do, he stuck his head out to make sure the train was ready to pull away. That’s when he was attacked by a man with a sharp object. Police don’t know what it was –possibly a box cutter. He’s in stable condition now, and authorities believe it was a random attack.


HALL-THOMAS

In January, Mayor Adams called New York the “safest big city in America.” Is that statement still true? Considering the amount of transit attacks we’ve seen lately.


LEO

So, we did see a decline in overall crimes last year.  But transit incidents actually skyrocketed. According to the NYPD, there were 570 reports of assault on trains or in stations. That was the highest number in more than two decades. 


As for this year, so far, transit crime is up 18% compared to the same time last year. The city says it’s working on solutions, including additional officers and surveillance cameras. 


And just a few days ago, the MTA installed conductors safety barriers at the 125th St. station to protect workers from attacks like the one that happened today. 


HALL-THOMAS

So what exactly is a safety barrier?


LEO

Basically, they’re rubber poles. They’re 4 feet tall, bright orange, and they’re right on the platform next to the conductor's car. They’re hard to miss… but I have to say, they don’t seem that hard to cross.


HALL-THOMAS

So do people just ignore them?


LEO

For the most part, yes. Apparently, riders have been crossing the poles to get close to ask the conductor questions. So it seems they’re not as effective as the MTA was hoping.


HALL-THOMAS

The mayor also plans to add more police officers in stations, is that right?


LEO

Yes, that’s correct. He’s following DeBlasio’s footsteps, trying to increase police presence. Adams asked for state funds to pay police officers for longer hours. Last week, Governor Hochul said she plans to meet with Adams to discuss his plan. But it is unclear when this conversation will happen.


HALL-THOMAS

Well, thank you for catching us up, Giulia


LEO

Thank you.


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