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Safety will remain an issue until New Yorkers feel safe on the streets

Jumaane Millette

Despite claims that loud crime incidents oversaturate the perception of safety in the city, New York is not safe and concerns from residents must be addressed.

“We have one bad incident, it’s magnified all over social media, and it sets us all back,” New York City Police Commissioner Edward Caban said in an interview on April 8. “Yes, we are heading in the right direction for crime.”

Overall crime in the transit system plummeted 23.5 percent in March, an achievement directly attributable to the 1,000 additional uniformed NYPD officers surged into the network each day,” according to the NYPD.

While it is true that overall crime may be down statistically, it is not right to dismiss the validity of residents’ concerns for their safety.

A recent poll by the Citizens Budget Commission shows that 52.6% of New Yorkers feel very unsafe in the subway at night. The same study shows that only 36.2% of New Yorkers feel somewhat safe riding the subway during the day.

Considering that the subway is a New Yorker’s primary form of transportation and the subway fare continues to rise, there is a problem with the number of people who are fearful of being in the subway.

A browser search of “NYC subway crime” will yield news story results from the same day or the previous one. According to NBC, a man was slashed in the face at the Rockefeller Center station in an unprovoked attack on April 15. Just a month prior on March 14, a 36-year-old man was shot with his gun after attempting to stab a passenger, ABC News reported. This occurred after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul deployed the National Guard to patrol the subway in early March, meaning that these weapons went undetected.

The crime doesn’t end on the subway. Crime on the street spiked a few weeks ago with attacks particularly directed at women. The New York Post reported on a series of women who were punched by a man in NYC.

“You guys, I was literally just walking, and a man came up and punched me in the face,” Halley Kate, a TikTok personality stated on her account.

What’s more concerning to New Yorkers than the crimes themselves is the city’s response. While on a larger scale, the city claims to be implementing new strategies to combat violence on the streets and in the subway, individual cases and decisions may prove otherwise.

According to Fox News, when 57-year-old Dulce Pichardo was left with a broken jaw following an unprovoked attack on the streets, the perpetrator, 33-year-old Franz Jeudy, was released without bail despite having prior arrests for two other random punch attacks, after which charges were dismissed due to his apparent history of schizophrenia.

The numbers may seem to reflect an improvement in the safety of New York City, but until every New Yorker can walk on the streets and ride the subway without looking around in fear and warning loved ones, the issue of safety must be addressed with utmost seriousness.

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Jumaane Millette
Jumaane Millette, Photography Editor
Jumaane Millette is the Photography Editor for The Ticker.
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