NYC Mayor Eric Adams rolls out ‘stop and search’ plans for bags on the subway and vows to bring in weapon screening systems to crackdown on violent repeat criminals on network

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • The New York City Mayor said he is ‘not happy’ with the state of subway crime  
  • Adams is introducing 94 ‘random’ bag checks and deploying plainclothes cops
  • He noted that 38 people were arrested for 1,126 attacks on MTA workers in 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has slammed a failure to stop repeat offenders as the Big Apple grapples with a surge in subway crimes.

The former top cop, 63, launched a crackdown this week that will see subway riders subjected to ‘random’ bag checks while upping the numbers of plainclothes cops. 

Adams stressed the measures are necessary to curb a surge in subway attacks, particularly on MTA workers, that he said it being primarily fueled by a small number of criminals being able to target people hundreds of times each. 

He noted that 38 people were arrested for a staggering 1,126 attacks on MTA workers in 2023, while 542 people were arrested last year for over 7,600 shoplifting crimes. 

‘We’re doing our job,’ he told PIX11 on Wednesday. ‘You can’t have 38 people that committed 1,126 crimes in our city back on our streets.’

In a separate interview on Wednesday with CBS New York, it was noted that Adams is deploying 94 bag checking teams across 136 stations, among 472 total subway stations in New York City. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (pictured with NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper) said he is ‘not happy’ with the state of subway crime as he launches a crackdown  

Adams is deploying 94 bag checking teams across 136 stations, among 472 total subway stations in New York City

Adams is deploying 94 bag checking teams across 136 stations, among 472 total subway stations in New York City 

Although the technology isn’t ready yet, the mayor said he is hoping to upgrade New York City’s subway security by introducing weapons screening systems across the city. 

The systems were a pledge that Adams made when he ran for mayor, but said this week that he is still waiting for Silicon Valley to respond to his ‘challenge to the tech industry.’

In the meantime, he said he has launched the latest measures because the city is suffering what he branded a ‘recidivist spike’ – criminals continuing to commit crimes. 

He noted the number of repeat MTA attackers – with each 38 suspects counting for an average of almost 30 attacks each in 2023 – has surged despite arrests being made. 

Without calling anyone out by name, the mayor alluded to a weak system allowing perpetrators back onto the streets, and said the city needs ‘to do an analysis of the entire criminal justice system to make sure every aspect of it is doing its job.’

In one of the recent attacks, a subway conductor was slashed in the neck after briefly sticking his head out of a train window. 

He also said the NYPD is taking aim at a rise in shoplifting and thefts across the city, which he again cited as being carried out by a small number of perpetrators. 

The 542 arrested repeat offenders last year each responsible for an average of over 14 offences each, with incidents of moped-riding migrants randomly attacking on the streets marking an escalation in recent months. 

Last month, subway conductor Alton Scott, 59, received 34 stiches after being slashed on an NYC subway in a random attack

Last month, subway conductor Alton Scott, 59, received 34 stiches after being slashed on an NYC subway in a random attack 

Adams is deploying more cops to stations across the city, and cited repeat offenders for fueling the crisis. He noted that 38 people were arrested for a staggering 1,126 attacks on MTA workers in 2023, while 542 people were arrested last year for over 7,600 shoplifting crimes

Adams is deploying more cops to stations across the city, and cited repeat offenders for fueling the crisis. He noted that 38 people were arrested for a staggering 1,126 attacks on MTA workers in 2023, while 542 people were arrested last year for over 7,600 shoplifting crimes 

While insisting he is ‘not happy’ with the state of subway crime in the city, Adams added that his measures have been working. 

He cited a 15 percent drop in subway crime in February compared to January, and said ‘there will be bumps from time to time.’ 

PIX11 anchors countered that there has been a 13 percent spike in violent crimes on the subways compared to last year. 

‘We’re doing a combination of things,’ Adams said. 

‘We put 1,000 uniformed members [of the NYPD] in the subway system after we saw the spike going in the month of January. We saw results of that.’  

Adams appeared with NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper, who doubled down on the measures that Adams is pushing and said the abundance of cameras on subway stations now act as an added deterrent.

‘Those cameras hold tremendous value,’ Kemper said. ‘And they’re all throughout the subway system. Literally, thousands of cameras. Those cameras are a deterrent.’ 

‘Our cops are visible, they’re riding trains, they’re standing on platforms, they’re at the turnstiles,’ Kemper said. 

‘We have plain clothes cops all throughout the subway system in every borough 24 hours a day.’ 

New YorkEric Adams

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