In New York City, a major offensive was launched against crime in the subway system on Monday night (19 March).
SV PAN Suspects being brought into police station in New York City
SV Subway train into station
SV Man taken away on stretcher after being pushed in front of train
SV Man looking at gap between two trains
SV INTERIOR Train, people in compartment (2 shots)
TRAVELLING SHOT Train into station
SCU Man waiting for train
SV Train at station and people walking on platform
SV Transit police holding news conference
CU Mayor Ed Koch speaking
CU Mayor Koch continues speech (English commentary over)
GV & SCU Train entering station and people waiting (3 shots)
BROWN: "According to the figures the subways of New York really are more dangerous than they used to be. Last year there were nine murders on the subway. So far this year there have been at least eight and it's only March. A tourist was pushed in front of a train by a mugger. And two token attendants were fire bombed inside their booth. A derelict knifed to death a deaf-mute. The victim himself was said to be part of a gang that preyed on subway riders. Many native New Yorkers even after hearing all the most recent horror stories haven't noticed any change. The system is so big that there's enough track to run from Manhattan to Washington D.C. More than three and a half million people take the subway each day. The fact that there are 38 or more felonies a day committed on the subway shouldn't surprise anyone. Why the increase in violence? Transit police say that much of the increase is only an apparent rise. In other words, more effective reporting methods may be the culprit. But whether the increase is real or imagined, May Ed Koch says New Yorkers are being scared into abandoning the subways and doing all their travelling above ground.
KOCH: "We have to live here. We have to make it clear that we're not going to allow the thugs and the punks to run this town and to act this town and to act as marauders. And that's why we're spending millions of dollars which I announced today."
BROWN: "Then he took action. Beginning Monday night (19 March) he nearly doubled the uniformed police force on the subway. He put a cop on each of the 600 trains running during evening hours, made plans to hire back officers let go during the fiscal crisis, and proposed an increase in the criminal justice system to handle all the new business. The whole programme to combat subway crime is expected to cost seven and a half million dollars."
REPORTER: RICK BROWN
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Background: In New York City, a major offensive was launched against crime in the subway system on Monday night (19 March). More than 800 uniformed policemen began patrols during high crime hours. The instigator of this action, Mayor Ed Koch, has pledged that he will reduce the violence that has seen eight people murdered this year and numerous assaults. During the first ten hours of increased police patrols the number of crimes dropped from fifteen to four. Last year almost 13,000 crimes were reported on the system. Mayor Koch's programme followed a public outcry that the New York subway was becoming increasingly dangerous. ITNA'S Rich Brown reports.