New York Subway Crime Up 17 Percent From Last Year

Subway Crime Up 17 Percent From Last Year

Sexual assaults, astounding poverty rates, and now rising subway crime? 2011 is looking awfully similar to the 1980's.

The NYPD says the city's subway crime rate is up an unnerving 16.6 percent from last year.

The rise coincides with a string of sexual assaults that have torn through Brooklyn, particularly in Park Slope. The 10th such attack in the Brooklyn neighborhood was reported as recently as Wednesday, after a woman was approached from behind at the Prospect Avenue subway station at 9:30 pm. An attacker then grabbed her breast and proceeded to run away.

The same day, a woman was sexually assaulted on the F train at the Fort Hamilton Parkway station. A man approached her and placed a knife against her throat and demanded she remove her underwear.

Authorities believe all attacks are most likely to have been committed by the same individual, who is described as a white or hispanic male in his late twenties. However, police have not ruled out multiple assailants and have released sketches of three men.

A group called Safe Slope organized a rally on September 14th, where 300 people marched as a show of force and called for safe streets to be brought back into the neighborhood. Safe Slope was formed in August of 2011 and has dedicated itself to "involve community members and help them organize to make the neighborhood safer, with the hope of inspiring a citywide network of community members who want to jumpstart resources in their own neighborhoods," according to their site.

Safe Slope will start a Safe Walk program on September 29th where women are paired with volunteers to help them walk safely home. A similar group, Brooklyn Bike Patrol, provides bike escorts to do the same.

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