Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC
From a press release:
“Serious crime on Metro dropped to a five-year low in the first half of 2014, Metro Transit Police announced today. For the six month period (January through June), Part I crime was down 31.6 percent, compared to the same period last year.
Transit Police attributed the reduction – which includes both Metrobus and Metrorail – to multiple factors, including increased customer awareness and outreach, data-driven officer deployment tactics, improvements in technology and intelligence sharing with law enforcement partners.
The drop in serious crime overall was driven by significant reductions in three areas:
Snatch theft of mobile devices – down 49 percent
Bicycle theft – down 35 percent
Robberies – down 43 percent
“We are pleased that our efforts are yielding positive results,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald Pavlik. “While I recognize that one crime is one too many, today’s news is an opportunity to thank our officers for their hard work, as well as our customers for their awareness and vigilance.”
Transit Police have encouraged Metro riders to be part of the solution to drive down crime. For example, last year, Metro released a series of videos showing cell phone snatch thefts, along with tips encouraging riders to hold their device with both hands and maintain awareness of what is happening around them. To combat bike theft, transit police have created an online registration program and distributed more than 500 free U-locks to riders who had been using inadequate chain or cable locks. In addition, transit police are using plain clothes officers and high-definition cameras to monitor bike racks for theft, resulting in 10 arrests this summer.
5-Year Part I Crime Comparison (January – June)
2010 – 1,105
2011 – 876
2012 – 969
2013 – 996
2014 – 708
Metro Transit Police have also made it easier for riders to report unattended items, panhandling, solicitation and suspicious activity by launching a new Text Tips program. Riders can send a text message to “MyMTPD” (696873) to reach the Transit Police Communications Center 24 hours a day.”