Increased efforts to encourage victims to report sex crimes helped the MTA see a notable spike in cases over the prior year, theNew York Daily Newsexplained.
“The city ended 2015 with a nearly 33% increase in sex abuse cases on the rails — from 98 in 2014 to 130,” the Daily News reported. “There was also a 25% jump in forcible touching cases — from 272 in 2014 to 340 — and a 9.3% increase in public lewdness cases, where men are found pleasuring themselves on the train. By the end of 2015, cops responded to 223 public lewdness cases, 19 more than the 204 reported in 2014.”
It’s important to note that this data isn’t saying that the rate of sex crimes are going up on the city’s subway network. What it could mean instead is that more people are willing to report incidents.
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“We are convinced that the increase is a direct result of us talking more about it and communicating more about it,” NYPD Chief of Transit Joseph Fox explained to the Daily News, assuring passengers that the trains are just as safe as they have always been.
“It’s more dangerous for sex predators themselves, because now they’re put on notice,” Fox continued. “Every report gives us an opportunity to make an arrest and determines where we should deploy our operations.”
If you are the victim or witness to a sex crime on the city’s public transportation the MTA and NYPD encourage you to report the incident as soon as possible.
You can file an incident report anonymously online or call 511.
Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.