New York officials are cautiously optimistic after subway crime fell 13 percent over the past 28 days

NEW YORK — For some, it’s a startling discovery. Despite the constant occurrence of horrific incidents on the subways, underground crime has actually started to decline.

It’s far too early to tell if it’s a streak on the crime radar screen or a definite trend, but after Gov. Kathy Hochul lashed out Millions of dollars during the governor’s race to get cops on the subwaysThe criminal underground went under for a 28-day period ending on Sunday.

As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday, Mayor Eric Adams and MTA officials are quietly enthusiastic.

“We are on the right train at the moment. We’re moving in the right direction. We’re going south to commit crimes,” Adams said.

It’s hard to say if “going south on crime” means the city is finally turning the corner to make the subways safer, but it seems there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Transit crime fell 13.1 percent over that 28 days — 185 crimes this year compared to 213 in 2021, when the city was still affected by the pandemic and ridership was lower.

“Big crimes have gone down. This is a major reversal of what has been a trend in the other direction, and I just want to acknowledge that this is significant progress, although it’s too early to celebrate,” said MTA Chairman Janno Lieber.

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The reason neither Adams nor Lieber performed an end-zone dance is because underground crime is up 33.5 percent year-to-date — 2,096 crimes this year compared to 1,570 in 2021. It’s also up 28, Up 8 percent over the past two years, although it’s down 6.2 percent five years ago.

“The blue wave in our subway system works,” Adams said.

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The mayor was referring to the fact that in the heat of a struggling governor’s race in which Republican Lee Zeldin slammed her for subway crime, Gov. Hochul opened up the treasury to pay more cops, including 1,200 extra shifts a day and 10,000 hours of overtime per day

CONTINUE READING: Despite the rise in transit crime, MTA chief says subway riders feel safer

But the question is how much longer the state, which is struggling with fiscal problems, will foot the bill. State officials did not respond to questions from CBS2 about how much is being spent and how long the surge will last.

Riders would certainly like to know. When asked if they felt safe underground, this is what they said.

“If I travel during the day, yes, but not at night,” said one.

“Yes, I feel safe on the subway. It might be because I’m a big guy,” said another.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” said another.

“Not very sure. Someone took drugs on the train the other day. One person behaved very inappropriately in front of children,” one added.

The mayor indicated he has other initiatives on the way, including assigning new police officers who have graduated from the police academy to strengthen transit patrols.

A city hall spokesman declined to provide further details.