From the NY Post:
Cops are giving homeless people and panhandlers in the subways the kid-glove treatment, arresting subterranean scofflaws far less frequently than just two years ago, data show.
The ranks of the homeless, meanwhile, have swelled to 1,841 this year — a 13 percent increase over last year’s tally, the city’s Department of Homeless Services says.
For straphangers, it has created an atmosphere of fear.
“I feel threatened, especially taking the train at night,” explained Brooklynite Lortashia Smith, who said she has been followed off trains several times. “The police can definitely do more.”
The NYPD said panhandler/peddler arrests in the subway have increased over the past year, with 409 pinched so far in 2013 versus 395 in 2012. But those numbers pale in comparison to 2011, when it was reported that in a six-month span that year, a whopping 930 panhandlers and peddlers — the two are not separated in the data — were arrested.
“There’s been a drop-off,” acknowledged one police source.
The NYPD refused to provide full-year data for 2011, when cops were busy cracking down on underground quality-of-life issues as part of a Transit Bureau initiative called Operation Moving Target.