More people were attacked or killed on trains and platforms on the New York Subway last year than in any year since 1997. From January to December, police counted more than 450 cases of aggravated assault and eight people died as a result of violence.

They included 32-year-old Akeem Loney, who was stabbed to death four weeks ago at Penn Station in Manhattan after falling asleep on the subway.

A few hours earlier, another passenger had also been attacked with a knife and seriously injured.

Overall, the New York Police Department registered almost 2.5 crimes per million passengers for 2021, and in 2019 the police counted around 1.5 violent assaults per million passengers.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), prior to the coronavirus pandemic, an average of 2.3 million New Yorkers and visitors to the city used the subway on weekdays. In the past two years, however, ridership has declined as many New Yorkers have been working from home. Many observers blame, among other things, the empty subways for the increase in acts of violence. The perpetrators took advantage of the absence of possible witnesses to attack passengers. Others pointed to the comparatively small number of officers protecting the extensive road network, one of the longest in the world at almost 400 kilometers.

Eric Adams, a former police officer and mayor of New York since early January, now announced more uniforms.

The New York native suggested stationing inside police officers on trains and at stations.