The NYPD announced on Monday that it’s been deploying female undercover cops to battle an uptick in sex crimes on the New York City transit system. As of April, each transit plainclothes team targeting subway assailants now has two female officers who are approaching victims when they see a sex crime occur, and even taking their statements on the platform to save time. “These crimes take a serious emotional and physical toll on victims, the majority of whom are women,” said Chief Joseph Fox, head of the department’s transit bureau, adding, “We know they’re more comfortable with female police officers.” So far, there have been 343 sex offenses in the subway system this year, 7.5 percent more than at the same time in 2014, with crimes ranging from sex assaults and gropings to public lewdness. Surprisingly, almost 60 percent of the incidents the NYPD investigated in 2014 were actually witnessed by a police officer first-hand who then arrested the assailants. “While the number of times an officer is able to intervene in these cases may seem high, it demonstrates a troubling fact,” Fox said. “Many sex offenses continue to go unreported.” Part of the rise in sex crimes could be attributed to more victims and witnesses coming forward. Last fall, the MTA launched a campaign to encourage people to report any sexual misconduct on the subway, and officials have since then learned of more than 200 incidents, which are all investigated by transit detectives.
Read the full story at AM New York.