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A woman walks by a moving train in the New York City subway system. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

City living

Reports of sexual harassment and assault on NYC subway skyrocket more than 50%

By WITW Staff on June 21, 2016

According to the latest figures released by the NYPD, reports of sexual offenses on the New York City subway system are up more than 50 percent year over year, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The statistics exclude rapes — of which about two per year are reported on the subway — and include instances of alleged unwanted touching, public lewdness and unlawful surveillance, and the taking of inappropriate photos and video. The surge in reports is due to authorities making a more concerted effort to empower women to report the crimes and then acting on the accusations to make arrests.

“Crimes that would previously go unreported because victims are embarrassed, intimidated or lacked the confidence that the case would be taken seriously are now being documented and fully investigated,” Joseph Fox, chief of transit for the New York Police Department, said. “Our teams are catching more sex offenders in the act and more women are coming forward knowing that we are committed to aggressively pursuing each criminal complaint.”

In the first half of 2016, 458 sex crimes have been reported in the subway. During the same period last year, 299 sex crimes were reported, an increase of 53 percent. The city is on pace to finish the year with about 900 reported sex crimes on the subway. The new strategy implemented by the NYPD was devised after Fox visited London and learned about how police there are dealing with the same problem.

“Few men know this crime exists,” Fox noted. “But far too many woman do.”

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.


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