Subway Station Closures and Robbery Hot Spots in New York City—Understanding Mobility Factors and Crime Reduction

Abstract

This paper takes advantage of a natural experiment involving subway station closures to examine how subway ridership is associated with the impact of robbery victimization within spatial network buffers immediately surrounding subway stations in Bronx (County), New York. The New York City subway system is the busiest in the USA, with an annual ridership estimated at 1.8 billion people. Key findings of this research include noteworthy relationships between robbery hot spots and subway stations, as well as substantial reductions in robbery frequency during temporary subway station closures, with larger reductions occurring in closer proximities to the subway stations. There was also a significant robbery pattern “normalization process” that occurred after the closed subway stations were reopened where robbery frequency returned to historically “normal” pre-closure levels. These notable decreases of crime in and around subway stations during the station closure time periods, as well as the prominent increases in robbery when subway stations reopened, should be taken into consideration when planning transit maintenance, conducting crime prevention initiatives, and scheduling crime control strategies.

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Funding

The authors would like to acknowledge funding for this research provided by the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (PSC-Award #50).

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Correspondence to Christopher R. Herrmann.

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Herrmann, C.R., Maroko, A.R. & Taniguchi, T.A. Subway Station Closures and Robbery Hot Spots in New York City—Understanding Mobility Factors and Crime Reduction. Eur J Crim Policy Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10610-020-09476-x

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Keywords

  • Hot spots
  • Crime reduction
  • Crime normalization hypothesis
  • Transit crime
  • Subway crime
  • Subway station
  • Robbery
  • New York City