NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Subway trains are more packed than ever, and new numbers show a sharp increase in reported subway sex crimes.
According to the NYPD, there was a 33 percent rise in sex abuse cases, a 25 percent rise in forcible touching cases and a 9 percent rise in incidents of public lewdness, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported. Police said the reporting sex crimes is up 19 percent.
“…You’re always taking a risk whatever you do, it’s a little bit scary, but you gotta go where you gotta go,” Jane Baity, of Montclair, said.
However, incidents of rape showed a sharp decline, down 80 percent.
“I bring pepper spray and I have it right in the top of my bag at all times,” Alyssa Chiarelli, of Staten Island, said.
Police said the subway is just as safe as its always been, attributing the increase in numbers as a result of more crimes being formally reported.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority also has a portal on its website where victims and witnesses can report sex crimes, with the ability to remain anonymous.
According to the MTA, 228 complaints were received in 2015, leading to 59 investigations.