Sen. Golden’s New Bill Will Make Subway & Bus Crimes Easier To Track

Sen. Golden’s New Bill Will Make Subway & Bus Crimes Easier To Track
Photo by herblessedjourney
Photo by herblessedjourney

Safety advocated are hailing a new law, sponsored by Senator Marty Golden and Assemblyman James Brennan, as an important tool in protecting commuters and MTA workers from crime and sexual assault.

The bill, signed into law this week by Governor Andrew Cuomo, will require the NYPD to establish a system similar to CompStat to track crimes that occur on public transit systems. Police will report the data to the New York City Council every month and store the information electronically so that it is available to the public and city officials, according to a press release from Golden’s office.

“The information gathered will help direct resources to target patterns of criminal activity on a certain bus or train routes. I am confident that this new law will bring about a change in the way in which we fight crime on our transit system, making it safer for all those who travel,” Golden said in the press release.

The new system established by the law will allow police and government officials to direct greater resources to bus and subway routes where criminal activity is concentrated. Advocates for victims of sexual violence also praised the law for providing a more detailed picture of the dangers faced by straphangers.

“The requirements of the new law have far reaching effects for victims of crimes and felony offenses including various forms of sexual violence,” said Mary Haviland, executive director for the New York City Alliance Against Sexual. “This will provide critical insights as to where the resources should be effectively placed and how to best help victims of these crimes.”

At least two people were groped on the Q train in southern Brooklyn this year. Last month, a woman took a picture of a man who allegedly grabbed her butt when she boarded the Q train at theNeck Road station. Another man followed a woman onto the train in April at the Church Avenue and began to rub her inner thigh when he sat next to her. She reported the incident to police when she got off at the Brighton Beach Station.

Earlier this year, a bill introduced by Senator Diane Savino made it a felony to sexually assault commuters on public transportation.

The subway also provides an opportunity to thieves to snatch cell phones and other valuable items. Cops were searching for a man in November who grabbed a Galaxy S3 smartphone from another passenger on the Q train at the Beverley Road station. The suspect took a selfie on the phone, which police were able to retrieve through the victim’s Google account.

“This will be an important step toward greater transparency, and will allow both law enforcement and victim service programs to better understand the needs of crime victims in New York City and state.” said Christopher E. Bromson, co-chair Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims Legislative Committee.

The union representing MTA workers also praised the legislation.

“The abuse inflicted upon bus and subway workers is rampant and shameful,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. “The detailed and public reports, required by the legislation, will lead to a better understanding of dangers faced by both riders and workers, and hopefully, result in better strategies to protect them.”

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