Though reports of subway sexual offenses are up more than 50 percent than last year, the NYPD attributes this to the frequency with which women are reporting the crimes.
According to NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox, there were 458 reports of unwanted touching, public lewdness and unlawful surveillance through Monday compared to 299 during the same time last year. This represents a 53 percent increase, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Crimes that would previously go unreported because victims are embarrassed, intimidated or lacked the confidence that the case would be taken seriously are now being documented and fully investigated,” Fox told MTA board members at a committee meeting on Monday. “Our teams are catching more sex offenders in the act and more women are coming forward knowing that we are committed to aggressively pursuing each criminal complaint.”
The MTA created a form on their website in 2014 to make it easier for victims of these crimes to report them. As a result, the NYPD can find the exact location of the crime and dispatch more officers.
Fox went to London last year to learn how city officers handle sexual offenses and began to assign more plainclothes officers on subways to catch perpetrators in the act, the Wall Street Journal reported.
He estimates that there will be around 900 violations at the end of this year, up from 738 violations last year. There were 621 violations in 2014 and 647 reported violations in 2013.
“Few men know this crime exists,” Fox said. “But far too many woman do.”