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No arrest for minor crimes like urinating in public in New York

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Published on 2 March 2016 6:22 AM GMT

No arrest for minor crimes like urinating in public in New York
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New York:Police officers in Manhattan (New York) will no longer arrest most people who commit minor offenses like urinating in public and riding between subway cars under a policy shift announced on Tuesday that officials hope will help to reduce a backlog of cases pending in Criminal Court.

The joint decision by the Police Department and the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. gives officers discretion to issue criminal summonses for such offenses as an alternative to arresting people whose behavior they determine does not pose a threat to public safety.

The changes apply to minor offenses like drinking alcohol in public, taking up two seats on the subway or putting one’s feet on the seats. Officials estimate the changes will result in about 10,000 fewer cases being prosecuted in Manhattan Criminal Court each year, freeing up police officers, prosecutors and the court to focus on more serious crimes.

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