Crackdown on subway beggars straining NYPD resources
Many officers agree it's not the best use of their time during the holiday season
By Natasha Velez, Kirstan Conley and Rebecca Harshbarger
New York Post
NEW YORK — The NYPD is cracking down on subway panhandlers — and sources said the initiative is taking precious manpower away from preventing iPhone thefts and shoving incidents, The Post has learned.
Police arrested 71 panhandlers between Nov. 11 and 24, including a man who collected a paltry 43 cents from straphangers. Cops also gave out 37 panhandling summonses.
Not everyone in the NYPD is happy about the crackdown. Some say that they want cops to focus on robbers and subway shovers over the holiday season.
“There are more important things we have to worry about, like people becoming the victim of a crime,” said a source. “People are getting thrown onto subway tracks, having their iPhones and iPads snatched. The last thing we’re worried about is a man begging for a nickel on the holidays. It’s common sense.”