NYC mayor says ‘perception of fear’ haunting subways, following another deadly attack

Following a drastic increase in crime over the past two years, New Yorkers do not currently feel safe on the subway

Updated: January 17, 2022 - 9:27am

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Despite a startling recent trend in subway crime in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams (D) is telling city residents that it is merely the "perception of fear" that is the issue with the major city's transit system.

"New Yorkers are safe on the subway system. I think it’s about 1.7 percent of the crimes in New York City that occur on the subway system. Think about that for a moment. What we must do is remove the perception of fear," Adams told a press conference over the weekend.

The mayor addressed the sudden death of Michelle Go, a 40-year-old consultant who was killed Saturday morning when a mentally unstable ex-convict pushed her in front of an oncoming train.

"When you see homeless individuals with mental health issues not being attended to and given the proper services, that adds to the perception of fear," said Adams, who formerly worked as New York transit cop. 

Go's tragic death is just the latest in a string of subway crimes that have shocked, scared, and horrified city residents who depend on public transportation for a variety of facets of daily life. According to NYPD crime statistics, transit crimes are up a whopping 81.5% between the first full week of January 2021, and the same time this year. 

In recent months, riders have been stabbed, shoved, and assaulted on subways and in stations all over the city's five boroughs. Despite a relative increase in police presence on platforms, the city's noticeable increase in homelessness and crime had contributed to the sense of danger New Yorker's now experience on the underground.

Lisa Daglian of the MTA Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee spoke with the New York Post following Adams' comments, "For a lot of people, perception is reality. It’s not 'the perception' when crime happens to you," she said.