NYPD must release more subway crime data under new law

The NYPD will be required to release detailed data on subway crime to the City Council under a new state law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, officials said Tuesday.

The department will create a report once a year for the City Council with data on transit crime that includes the number of criminal complaints and arrests, the type of crimes that occur, and the lines and bus routes where they take place. It must also indicate whether the victim was a passenger or MTA worker.

Monthly statistics on transit crime will be made available as well publicly on the website for the Department of Records and Information, the bill states.

Subway crime rose almost 11% in 2015, according to the NYPD. It made up about 2% of total crime in the city. Many victims were sleeping riders pickpocketed by thieves.

“People actually plan their napping schedule on train rides,” said Chief Joseph Fox, head of the department’s transit bureau, on Monday.

The types of crimes that would be included in this new public data range from sexual harassment to assault and disorderly conduct.

The bill was introduced by Brooklyn Assemb. James Brennan, a Democrat, and Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Golden, a Republican, to make the NYPD more transparent. Brennan’s district includes Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, while Golden represents neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.

The legislation was backed by the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents MTA workers, and nonprofits such as the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault and anti-harassment group Hollaback!

“The detailed and public reports, required by the legislation, will lead to a better understanding of dangers faced by both riders and workers, and hopefully result in better strategies to protect them,” said John Samuelsen, who heads TWU Local 100, in a statement.

Between October 2014 and October 2015, MTA workers filed almost 2,200 harassment complaints against riders, according to transit data. About 90 were assaulted by riders on the subway or buses.

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