http://nypost.com/2013/12/02/crackdown- ... nt-things/
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.”
Another source said, “A panhandler pales in comparison to someone getting violently robbed.
The number of people “living” in the subway system has increased 13 percent over last year, according to the city’s Department of Homeless Services.
The Post reported in late October that panhandling and peddler arrests were only up slightly from the year before, from 395 collars to 409.
And they were down significantly from 2011 — when cops cracked down on quality-of-life violations underground in Operation Moving Target, and arrested 930 people within six months.
Police said at the time that the number was higher in 2011 because it also included arrests for people selling Metro-Card swipes.
Those arrests have since been removed from the panhandler category.