Crime and insecurity
When in the 1960's crime rates started to skyrocket in New York
City, crime became a major problem in the subway system. The pre-war
architecture of the stations was designed in a period when the
word "crime prevention" had not even been invented yet.
The labyrinth-like nature of these old stations and the high number
of long and often narrow passageways provided criminals and antisocials
good shelter and the opportunity to commit their crimes and misdemeanours.
In no time, the metro system of New York became a national and
international symbol of crime and feelings of unsafety. A big
number of press releases, movies, and TV documentaries were produced
in which the New York metro was represented as a deteriorated,
graffiti-infested environment which is inhabited by vagrants and
drug dealers and best to be avoided by law-abiding people; a representation
which was, sad enough, not entirely beside the truth.
Source: López, M.J.J., Crime Prevention
Guidelines for the Construction & Management of Metro Systems,
Den Haag: RCM-advies 1996, pg. 20-23.