NYPD reported more subway assaults in 2021 than any year

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The NYPD reported 461 felony assaults in the subway system last year — a disturbing rate not seen since 1997, according to data released ahead of Monday’s MTA board meetings.

Eight homicides also occurred in the transit system in 2021, the highest since such statistics started being tracked in 1997.

The troubling subterranean trend is despite a decline in crime at the year’s end. In December, there were 194 total major felonies — down from 235 in November, the NYPD said.

Subway robberies — which doubled from October to November — plummeted in December, from 88 the previous month to 58.

Grand larceny and assault also dropped in December, when one murder and four rapes were also reported.

Overall, cops reported 2.46 crimes per million riders — well above both the 1.47 crimes per million riders reported in all of 2019 and comparatively lower figures from just this past summer.

NYC commuters
Overall crimes in NYC have decreased since November 2021, unlike the rising transit crimes.
Getty Images
NYPD officers
NYC residents feel safer when officers are present in the subway station.
Daniel William McKnight
MTA gate closed
Eight homicides occurred in 2021, the highest since the transit system statistics started being tracked in 1997.
Christopher Sadowski
Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams spoke at the vigil honoring the latest subway victim, Michelle Go.
AFP via Getty Images

Average weekday subway ridership in January is 2.3 million, according to MTA statistics.

Mayor Eric Adams took office Jan. 1 and pledged to reassign NYPD officers on desk duty to subway patrols. The city has nevertheless continued to experience tragedies on the rails, most notably the recent subway shove killing of Michelle Go.

MTA Chair Janno Lieber said on Sunday that he had spoken with the mayor about subway safety “several times” and that Adams agrees with his push for cops to be stationed on trains and platforms.

“Riders want to see the cops in the areas where they feel a little more vulnerability, and that’s the platform’s and on the trains,” Lieber said on ABC7 New York. “The mayor has stepped up … and said not only are we using the cops who were in Transit, but the cops who are at surface level doing patrol are also going to come down into the system as well.”

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