Last week marked the start of New York City's new “Subway Safety Plan”, a 17-page program to fight the massive spike in transit crime in the still-recovering city.
But instead of going down, major transit crime rose 30%, NYPD data shows, with felony assaults nearly doubling. (Misdemeanor assaults, not counted in the major crime figure, also more than doubled.)
To be sure, the plan is in its infancy, and no one promised an immediate fix. The NYPD also noted a sharp increase in enforcement, with arrests up 64% and criminal summons up nearly 10%.
But the increase in major crimes in the subway system still poses a massive challenge to the mayor's and governor's plans -- and hopes -- for office workers to come back to the city and turn around the local economy.
According to the latest figures from the NYPD CompStat system, there were 55 major crimes in transit in the week of February 21, versus 42 the week prior and 18 in the same week a year earlier.
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The headlines are unrelenting - a woman brutally beaten in the head with a hammer, another woman assaulted with a bag of feces to the face, plus stabbings and shootings and all other manners of violence.
Early reports suggest a daunting task for police, with a shortage of sufficient resources for mentally ill homeless people being pushed from the system.