New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is reportedly requesting that “certain criminals” be prohibited from using the transit system due to the rise in subway crime in New York City. According to the New York Daily News, MTA Chair Janno Lieber urged judges and district attorneys to stop some dangerous convicts from using the city’s public transit. Lieber wrote a letter asking three high-ranking state-level judges to forward the enforcement request to the judges in the counties that the MTA serves.
Judges in New York State have the power to prohibit anyone from using the subway if they have been found guilty of sex offenses on the train or attacking an MTA employee. Lieber explained, “We are aware of no cases in which courts have actually used the ban authority created by the Legislature. That is so despite a steady stream of disturbing, high-profile crimes in the transit system.” He added that commuters have been fearful amid increased subway violence.
Additionally, Lieber noted in his letter, “The current statute is plainly too narrow. For example, there is no good reason why rider-on-worker assaults are ban-eligible while rider-on-rider assaults are not.” Stats from the New York Police Department show that as of October 16, there has been a 41% increase in subway crime over 2021.
The state’s Governor, Kathy Hochul, and NYC Mayor Eric Adams recently addressed locals’ concerns regarding the increase in subway violence. The pair unveiled a new plan called “Cops, Cameras, and Care” that will allegedly station 1,200 more police officers and unarmed security guards at the train stations every day. The New York State Office of Mental Health will also use money from the initiative to increase the amount of crisis intervention training it offers to first responders.
Hochul claimed, “My number one priority as Governor is keeping New Yorkers safe in the streets, in their homes, in their schools, and on the subway, and we do whatever it takes to make our subways safer for riders.” Adams stated, “I won’t rest until the subway is a safe place for all. People are saying over and over again, ‘We don’t feel safe’… Visibility in the system plays a critical role.”