Compared to last year, reports of sexual harassment crimes have skyrocketed on the New York City subways.
We’re only halfway through the year, and police have already been informed of almost 500 sex crimes in the city’s rail system—compared to around 300 this time last year. With these figures, close to 1,000 harassment reports are expected to be submitted by the end of 2016, Refinery29 reports.
These statistics, compiled by TheWall Street Journal, do not include rapes, but do account for inappropriate touching, photography, videography and indecent exposure, amongst other things.
In an interview with The New York Times, NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox said that the number of crimes has probably not increased. Instead, more empowered individuals are stepping up and reporting sexual harassment.
Victims may be too embarrassed, or too busy, to stop and report the crime, Fox asserted. With advancements like a website to file complaints (which lets you report anonymously), this is becoming less of an issue.
Fox claimed that the Transit Bureau is taking all reports seriously. He urged that despite the widespread belief otherwise, the NYPD does care about sexual harassment on the city's subways and the force wants to put an end to it.
"Not many men know that this happens, but far too many women do," Fox said to The Times. It’s time the police start taking each threat personally—which is why Fox individually reads and responds to every complaint submitted to the Transit Bureau.
With these numbers, it's clear that progress against predators is being made, especially in NYC. But we still have a long way to go in our efforts to make the streets safer for everyone.