Subway Crime up 6.2 Percent

Hike Fueled by Teens Robbing Each Other Say Police

By Alice McQuillan
|  Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010  |  Updated 6:12 PM EDT
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Subway Crime up 6.2 Percent

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Crime spiked 6.2-percent on the subways this year, an increase that  the city's top cop blamed on ripoffs between teens.

 "We see it mostly as youth-on-youth crime, iPods, iPhones, that sort of thing being taken,"  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.said Wednesday.

Police attribute 15% of all transit crime to what they call school crime -- law breaking between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. committed by those under the age of 18.

Murders in the subways fell from two in 2009 to one this year but shooting victims edged up from one last year to two in 2010, crime statistics show.   Total felonies underground totalled 2,092 so this year, up 6.2 % from the 1,969 recorded by Dec. 19th last year.

It's still safe enough for strap hangers to carry their holiday shopping bags since this hike is far from returning the underground to the bad old days, Kelly said.

"It's important to look at this in perspective," he said.  " We still have less than six crimes a day on the subway system, the system has five million people a day that use it."

He pointed out that in 1990, the subways were hit with 50 crimes a day; in 2001, it was a dozen crimes every 24 hours. 

"It's getting progressively better," he said, adding "it's still a very very safe system." 

Citywide, overall crime as of December 12th is down 1.54 percent however murders have increased to 508 compared with 443 for the same period last year.

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