Cramped commuters are getting into more fights — 165 assaults through August of this year, which is up nearly 27% compared to last year’s data — according to a report in the New York Daily News.
“It’s bad behavior. It’s two people in a crowded place bumping into each other and one becoming violent. It’s that simple,” NYPD Transit Chief Joe Fox was quoted in the article, which also referenced an NYPD claim that most attacks primarily occur between 3 p.m. and midnight.
The increase in crime correlates to an increase in ridership as more people pack the transit system, the article claimed, adding that there will be 55 days this year when the daily commuter total will top 6 million, a figure that was unheard of in 2013.
Pickpockets grabbing electronic devices like smartphones now account for up to half of all subway crimes, Fox said in the report, adding that thieves target sleeping passengers and those with electronics on display.
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“It’s another example of lack of civility,” MTA board member Charles Moerdler said in the Daily News, with fellow MTA board member Allen Cappelli saying that the agency needs to remind riders to avoid doing things that make them a target such as sleeping or holding electronics in view.
“We still strongly caution people to think about where and when and how they hold their property,” Fox said in the report.