Major felonies on the New York City subway were down in nearly every category last month, according to new NYPD stats — even as the system saw around 10 million more total riders than in September.
NYPD recorded 40 robberies, 85 grand larcenies and 34 felony assaults across the MTA’s 472 subway stations in October, according to figures to be shared at Monday’s MTA board committee meetings — down, respectively, from 52, 96 and 36 during the previous month.
Overall, October saw 161 major felonies on the underground rail network — compared to 184 last month and 154 in October 2020. Meanwhile, felony assault in the subways has stayed steady after a frightening headline-generating surge in May.
Adjusted for ridership, crime is down significantly: With 83.4 million total riders last month, there were just 1.93 crimes per million riders. In October 2020 — amid pandemic-depressed ridership of 48 million — the subways saw more than three crimes per million riders.
MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan attributed the reduced crime to an NYPD surge on trains and platforms that began in May, as well as increased ridership making the system safer in general.
“Riders are coming back and crime is coming down, which are favorable, self-reinforcing trends for the MTA and New York City,” Donovan said in a statement. “The NYPD surged officers into the subway system this summer as the MTA accelerated roll-out of security cameras, reaching all 472 stations. Criminals who prey on transit riders know investigators will have their picture and justice will catch up with them.”
There are nevertheless some causes for concern. Grand larcenies — which spiked in September — remained much higher in October than throughout the pandemic.
October also saw one rape and one murder, up from zero in September.
“It looks as though we’re seeing movement in the right direction on major crimes, though clearly more needs to be done to make riders feels, and be safe,” said Lisa Daglian of the MTA’s permanent citizens advisory committee. “Data-driven police deployment is essential to that, which will help bring riders back onboard when we need them most.”