More cops are riding the rails — collecting overtime along the way — to combat a spike in subway crime, Transit Chief Joe Fox said Monday.
There were 61 robberies in the transit system in May, an increase of 30 cases from the previous year. Overall, there were 47 additional major felonies, hitting 216 for May, from 169 the prior year — a 27.8% increase.
Fox said cops were stepping up enforcement on trains when about 70% of transit crime began to occur on the rails in April — instead of on platforms or in station mezzanines — up from the typical 60%.
“We want them on the trains to be present and visible,” Fox told MTA board members.
To hit back against a spate of felonies, Fox said more transit officers were on patrol and shifts were extended. “We’ve been deploying a lot of overtime in the last couple of months,” Fox said.
The show of force also followed an uptick in felony assaults. There were 99 attacks this year through May, a nearly 27% spike from 78 in the same period in 2014.
Robberies this year are also outpacing 2014 by 4.8%, with 196 cases through May compared with 187 during the first five months of last year. Fox noted robberies in the subway in 2014 reached “historic lows.”