Security Cameras Installed in Every NYC Subway Station After Crime Soared During Pandemic

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced Monday that it has finished installing security cameras in every New York City subway station in an effort to drive down crime.

A final round of cameras was installed on Saturday at the Broadway station on the G line, making it the last of the city's 472 stations to be outfitted with security devices. Since December 2020, the transportation agency said it has installed some 2,000 cameras at over 200 stations across the city.

The installation of cameras was accelerated in the past year after reports showed the subway ridership plummeted during the pandemic, while crime rates increased dramatically.

Recent New York City Police Department (NYPD) statistics found that the number of major reported crimes in the subway—including homicides, rapes, stabbings, and robberies—were higher in 2020 than during the same period a year earlier, according to The New York Times.

The NYPD reported that there were 2.19 major crimes per one million riders in August, up from 1.78 in July and 1.77 in June. In comparison, the NYPD recorded just 1.47 felonies per one million riders in 2019. Police recently captured video footage of a man violently pushing a woman down an escalator in a subway station.

NYC Subway
In an effort to drive down crime, the MTA said Monday that every New York City subway station now has security cameras. Above, a G train arrives at the Smith - 9th Street station in Brooklyn on August 2, 2021. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren said Monday that the extra cameras will prove essential for police to track criminal activity.

"If you are a criminal who preys on those who use our system, you will have your image captured and be put on the express track to justice. The image will be delivered to the police, and the police will use it to find you. The NYPD has been aggressively investigating every crime in the subway, which is why crime is way down this year," he said in a statement.

Warren told the New York Post that the extra security efforts have already lead to a significant increase in arrests.

"The number of arrests have dramatically increased. Part of that is directly attributable to cameras," Warren said. "You are not anonymous in the subway right now if you are out there trying to prey on our riders."

Warren added that by installing the new security cameras, the MTA is aiming to create "a safer, higher quality of life experience across the subway system," so people "feel better about coming back to the system."

The MTA said that some of the new cameras will broadcast in real-time to the subway's security center, while others will record locally and can provide footage that can be played back for criminal investigations.