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Subway crime up 22% vs. this time last year, NYPD says

Crime rising in subway system, data shows
Crime rising in subway system, data shows 02:57

NEW YORK - A recent spate of subway crime has straphangers reeling, and there's good reason for it. 

Crime in the subway is up 22% since the start of the year, according to the NYPD

Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams make much of the fact that extra police have been sent into the subway to keep riders safe, but crime underground is on the rise, and it's not just according to the NYPD. Our team of data journalists has come up with some startling statistics about the increase in felony assaults since Adams got elected. 

Just four days ago, a 29-year-old man was slashed on the side of the neck with a knife at the Queens Plaza subway station. The attacker was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a black vest, and is still at large. 

Some straphangers said they are worried about subway safety. 

"It's just like, if people, or if there are some people who are going to push you down the rail, or some people who are attacking you," one person said. 

"Usually it's not safe. I don't know what's going on in New York now, but you're not safe here," said another. 

The same day as the knife attack in Queens, a man playing the electric cello in the mezzanine of the Herald Square station was attacked from behind by a woman who hit him on the head with a metal bottle

Police are also searching for the person who attacked a man with a pipe at a subway station. 

It happened just before 1 a.m. Saturday at the Queensboro Plaza subway station. 

Investigators say the 31-year-old male victim had lacerations on his head and went to the hospital in stable condition. 


The suspect is described as a man, 40-50, with a medium build and a beard. If you recognize him, you're asked to contact the NYPD. 

Since the beginning of the year, there has been a 22.6% increase in subway crime: 266 incidents, compared to 217 in the same period of time in 2023. 

That's not all. CBS New York Investigates has analyzed data from the last several years. It shows New Yorkers are reporting nearly three times as many felony assaults on the subway since 2022 than they were a decade ago, and about 46% more assaults than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic. 

"With hundreds more officers surged into transit, 15,000 cameras in stations and thousands more cameras on trains assisting the NYPD, anyone breaking the law in transit can count on getting caught. Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams' Cops, Cameras and Care initiative produced a drop in serious crimes overall last year and It's now up to prosecutors and the courts to ensure real consequences so the same people aren't free to keep coming back to prey on transit workers and riders," New York City Transit President Richard Davey said, despite our findings.   

"I'm always concerned about safety on the subway," one straphanger said. "There's some subways that you have policemen on the platform patrolling, walking around, and there's others that there's nothing there." 

"Keep your eyes open and pray," said another. 

The MTA has installed buttons to summon help in an emergency. It's unclear how long it takes for cops to arrive once the button is pressed. 

Anyone with any information about the pipe attack is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.  

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