Lonely Planet Writer

Wake up call: NY subway finds novel way of beating crime

New York police believe they have come up with a novel way of fighting subway crime – by waking up people who fall asleep during journeys.

The New York subway is a place where opportunistic thieves prey on passengers who fall asleep
The New York subway is a place where opportunistic thieves prey on passengers who fall asleep Image by Derek Key / CC BY 2.0

Officers riding the subway in future will wake up dozing straphangers to combat a spike in crime because sleepers are easy targets for opportunistic thieves, Bill Bratton the NYPD Police Commissioner revealed.

NYPD will get its officers to wake up straphandlers who sleep during their trips on the subway
NYPD will get its officers to wake up straphandlers who sleep during their trips on the subway
Image by relux. / CC BY 2.0

He said that his force would focus on telling regular passengers and tourists that subways are not for sleeping and while people may be tired, it would be better for his members to wake them up than to see innocent passengers  losing a phone, a wallet or even some clothing items.

New York Police say there has been a spike in subway crime in recent times
New York Police say there has been a spike in subway crime in recent times Image by Giacomo Barbaro / CC BY 2.0

Such strikes so far in 2016  were up on last year and even worse was the fact that half of the victims of subway crime weren’t aware they were the subject of a crime.

The New York Post said there were 25 more felonies in transit during January – a rise from 6.65 crimes every day and an increase from 4.5 during 2015.

A spokesman for NYPD, Stephen Davis, said that when get on the subway, he stays away from the last car and always get on the car where the conductor is.

Four years ago when the police force saw a similar rise in subway crime, the employed a similar initiative to combat the trend and are hoping this current round of keeping travellers awake will have positive results.