Mayor Emanuel, CTA Announce Crimes on CTA Decreased 25 Percent in 2015

January 27, 2016

Thefts and robberies, the most common crimes, fell around 20 percent

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. announced today that the total number of crimes on the CTA fell 25 percent during 2015, the fourth straight year that crimes have decreased on the CTA.

Theft and robberies, the most common crimes, declined 19 percent and 22 percent, respectively, in 2015.

“Our aggressive efforts to deter and fight crime on the CTA since 2011 has increased safety for CTA customers, through the installation of thousands of cameras on buses, trains and at stations, strengthened policing strategies and vigorously prosecuting criminals,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Our efforts are paying off with year-after-year declines in crime, but we will continue to fight all crime and send the message to offenders that we will not tolerate any criminal acts on the CTA.”

Under Mayor Emanuel, the CTA and the Chicago Police Department have deployed several strategies to fight crime on CTA buses, trains and at rail stations. Those include the expansion of the CTA’s extensive network of security cameras to more than 23,000, including multiple cameras on every CTA train and bus and at every CTA rail station. The City has also expanded police patrols, rail saturation missions and increased undercover operations.

Security camera images have significantly helped in identifying suspects and making arrests, and serve as a warning to would-be offenders. Last year, 256 individuals whose images were caught on CTA cameras were arrested for crimes committed on or near CTA property, an 8 percent increase over 2014. Those include a suspect who turned himself in voluntarily after police released images of him connected to an assault incident in December and the November arrest of a serial pickpocketer in at least 21 incidents between May and November.

Since 2011, under Emanuel’s leadership, the CTA has more than doubled the number of security cameras across the rail system, and undertaken a project to retrofit more than 250 older-series rail cars with interior cameras. All of the CTA’s newest 5000-series rail cars come equipped with cameras.

On CTA’s rail system, total crime fell 32 percent in 2015 from the previous year. Robberies dropped 19 percent while thefts fell 13 percent across trains, stations platforms and tracks.

Total crimes on buses also declined by 32 percent in 2015. Robbery and theft decreased 31 percent and 36 percent, respectively, and are also at their lowest rates in the past four years.

Overall, serious crime (i.e. murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and battery, etc.) is very rare on CTA trains and buses, averaging seven incidents for every
10 million rides in 2015.

CTA also saw a significant drop—72 percent—in the category of “fraud” or fare evasion—a result of the efforts CTA took last year to curtail the improper and unauthorized use of free- and reduced-fare ride cards.

“The safety and security of all of our passengers is our top priority and a critical part of providing excellent customer service,” said President Carter. “We’ll continue to work closely with police, using all of the tools and resources we have, to make the CTA safe for each and every rider, every day.”

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Editor’s Note: Full crime statistics and data can be obtained from the Chicago Police Department.

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