NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With crime on the rise in the subway system and arrests down, some experts are calling for more policing underground.
The latest year-to-date numbers from the NYPD Transit Bureau show an increase in robberies, felonies and grand larceny crimes from January to mid-November, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reports.READ MORE: 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' Wins Big As Broadway Celebrates The 74th Annual Tony Awards
Robbery incidents increased from 384 to 481, felony assaults rose from 190 to 222 and grand larceny incidents rose from 1, 372 and 1,426 since last year.
Arrests are down from 46,071 to 42,752.
“If crime is up and arrests are down, it sends a message that perhaps they need to be more aggressive, they need to use that tool — that stop, question and frisk tool,” Manny Gomez, a criminal justice expert, said.
New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that despite the surge in crime, incidents on the subway are minimal.READ MORE: Police Seize 7 Vans Allegedly Used As Airbnb Rentals In Manhattan
“On average in subways that are bursting at the seams, over six million people a day using it on average, we have right now seven crimes a day,” Bratton said.
Bratton dissmissed the surge in crime this year, saying that most of the subway crimes committed are pickpocket-type issues, like smartphone theft. He also noted almost half of the crime on the subways right now is targeted at sleeping passengers.
The Commissioner said things are much better now than they were in the 1990s.
“You could compare twenty years ago, certainly violent crime was much higher in the subway. But the goal is to make it lower,” Gomez said. “The fact that there is a spike in violent crime is concerning because people want to feel safe when they go in the subway.”MORE NEWS: Woman Accused Of Telling Black Couple At Brooklyn Dog Park, 'Stay In Your Hood'
Experts say there are also concerns that with winter coming, there is a worry more homeless will seek shelter in the subways, which might cause a further crime spike.