CTA Sees Reduction in Crime Despite Increase in Riders During 1Q, 2006


Chicago Police Department (CPD) reports a decrease in thefts and robberies on the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) rail line thus far this year. Although figures for June have not yet been released, authorities say crime is down compared to this time last year, even though the number of riders increased by 1.4 percent during the first five months. CTA reported a 5.3-percent jump in crime during 2005

According to the Chicago Tribune, Dennis Rayl, commander of the police department’s public transportation section, attributes this drop in crime to an increase in CTA’s security measures. This includes better lighting and the use of security cameras. In fact, CTA’s bus fleet was equipped with security cameras in 2003 and new rail cars yet to be received will also be equipped with video security, says Rayl.

Rayl also attributes CPD’s ongoing analysis of CTA’s crime data. This has helped identify crime trends, like the numerous robberies that took place on the Green Line’s Lake Street Branch. This had led CPD to increase police patrols in those areas of the CTA enterprise where crime is the highest.

Because of CPD’s and CTA’s combined crime prevention efforts, among the most common crimes CTA experienced a 6.7-percent decrease, or 544, during the first six months of this year compared to 583 during the same period last year.

Other CTA crime statistics include a 34-percent drop in reported robberies (96 to 63), and a 2.6-percent drop in reports of aggravated battery (38 to 37).

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