Violent crime on CTA dropped 19% in 2012

Robberies and aggravated battery incidents reported on the CTA in 2012 were down by 21 percent and nearly 12 percent respectively compared to 2011, the CTA reports.The total reduction for those violent crimes was 19 percent.

On the down side, thefts were up almost 16 percent over 2011, "much of that attributable to thefts of cell phones and other electronic devices."

With this news release, the CTA took the opportunity to remind us of steps it has taken to improve safety:

Over the past year, CTA and Chicago Police Department have taken other steps to enhance bus and rail system security, including:

  • Continued implementation of Rail Saturation Missions by CPD’s Public Transportation Section.
  • Assignment of CPD detectives responsible for CTA video enforcement and deterrence initiatives.
  • Doubling the size of the CTA Security Department by filling previously vacant, budgeted positions and creating three new positions, which include two former detectives and two security specialists.
  • The restructuring of CTA’s Security Department to adopt a regional approach to policing, which mirrors the structure of CPD and will allow security staff to become more familiar with their assigned locations and work in conjunction with CPD detectives assigned in each region.
  • Creation of a new, modern video surveillance room 12 times larger than the previous facility, featuring nearly three dozen displays for CTA security personnel and assigned police detectives to review video from buses and trains and access live, real-time feeds from rail system cameras.

Combined, these new initiatives will allow for improved video surveillance, quicker response and greater efficiency of resources among CTA and CPD personnel responsible for investigating crimes, mining evidence and intelligence provided by CTA’s camera network, analyzing criminal trends and patterns and conducting real-time remote surveillance missions.

Interestingly, in the same new release the CTA refuted a Sun-Times story that reported crime at CTA rail stations rose 21 percent in 2102. The release says the Sun-Times story "fails to provide context to those numbers. . . . For example, the most common rail station crime—fare evasion—was up 41 percent, contributing to much of the overall increase."

“We are committed to addressing fare evasion as part of our strategy to aggressively prevent would-be offenders from committing more serious crimes,” said Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Additionally, the crime stats include offenses of all varieties, from vandalism to theft of CTA signs to trespassing—crimes that don’t directly impact the safety and security of CTA customers.



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  • Phone thefts will drop if there's concealed carry.
    People will shoot the thieves!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Concealed carry of phones might help. I think that the currently ubiquitous model of holding an expensive, fragile device in one's hand and concentrating on it at all times needs some improvement. Hands need to be free, attention needs to be paid to one's surroundings when out in public. I predict some technological breakthrough will occur, to make use of media and communications easy and available during odd moments of downtime, without compromising our security.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Since Google Glass was promoted yesterday, I wonder if glasses will become the next grab and run target.

  • I saw you on Channel 7 when they did the number crunching.

    You looked a bit peaked, but I guess we all do.

    And Chuck Gowdie claimed that CTA wouldn't give him the raw numbers. The report implied that he got them from CPD. And Chuck said that assaults were up 30% 2nd half 2012 compared to first half.

    So, as usual, I guess it is how the statistics are manipulated.

  • The CTA and the CPD could not give a damm about your safety,if this was Europe these thugs and beggers who are robbers would be arrested on the spot,the CTA is a dream to Al Quida,they ar.e a joke,almost every red line trip I take turns into another harassing moment by some one for money,do we have to wait for some one to die on the CTA to get police?

  • In reply to airportguy2:

    According to the link I had above to Channel 7, either there are insufficient transit police or they are not sufficiently conspicuous.

    Also, there was the story in the Sun-Times yesterday whether the robbers from the Red Line will migrate to the Green. Previously, I thought the Green was more dangerous, but I guess not now, since until May 2013, there weren't as many targets of opportunity as on the Red.

  • fb_avatar

    I can see that they've taken all these measures to improve security. But honestly, it doesn't seem to be helping. People are more likely to rob you if the train is moving and you have no way to escape. All the cameras are going to do is possibly help to find the person afterward. Cameras aren't going to help in that moment if someone pulls out a weapon and forces you to give them your belongings. There's got to be something more.

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