Major crimes down 26% on CTA in 2014

The recent proliferation of more than 23,000 surveillance cameras on CTA trains and buses is just one reason why serious crime is down 26 percent, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The new Series 5000 rail cars have seven cameras in every car, and the rest of the fleet of older cars has been retrofitted with cameras. This investment and crime deterrent no doubt led to the big drop in serious crimes on the CTA last year. The CTA saw the fewest serious crimes in 2014 than in the past four years:

  • Robberies – down 34 percent
  • Thefts – down 26 percent
  • Serious crimes – down 26 percent

From the news release:

Across the rail system, overall serious personal and property crimes decreased 24 percent in 2014. Robberies on the rail system decreased 26 percent in 2014 to 210 and have declined each year since 2011. Robberies on trains fell 23 percent and 28 percent at stations and platforms. Thefts decreased across the rail system, with the number of incidents down 31 percent on trains and down 12 percent on platforms and at stations.

On buses, overall incidents of serious crimes dropped 30 percent in 2014. Robbery and theft decreased 48 percent and 29 percent, respectively, and are also at their lowest rates in the past four years.

The news release came just one week before the mayoral election on Feb. 24. It also came one day after a video surfaced of a gang a thugs beating a man on the southbound Red Line at about 47th Street on Sunday.

So yes, crime is down, but certainly not gone from the CTA.


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  • As the last two sentences indicate, one wonders if enough of the thugs are getting the message that they are on video (either official or passenger) and are sufficiently deterred.

  • Now, imagine if they allowed concealed carry on the CTA. Crime would plummet.

    As it sits now, the criminals know the likelihood of running into an armed victim are slim to none. 'Nothing like making their job easier.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    I doubt that, as most concealed carry license holders would probably shoot some innocent bystanders.
    And I'm in favor of concealed carry, but in the confines of a 9.5 foot wide L car, not so much.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Most? Lol. With millions of CCW license holders in the U.S. today, I'm sure you'll have no problem providing a single piece of evidence where this has happened.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    I suppose that this story has some relevance in the gun culture.

    And whether somewhere has a picture with 430 ILCS 66/65 on it, I'm pretty sure gang bangers don't respect it, like they haven't respected any gun law.

    You rather that those in yesterday's viral video shot it out rather than just got into a shoving and cursing match?

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not following you. The story doesn't say anything about a concealed carry permit.

    I agree that criminals don't give a rats a** about the CCW law. Is anyone stupid enough to think that a gangbanger is going to honor a little sticker in a business' window that says 'No Guns'? The sticker should have the words "Unarmed Victims" under the red circle.

    I understand that there are idiots everywhere. However, we're not dealing with CCW in the attached story. Statistically, CCW holders have far lower crime rates than the general public. If someone is going to go through the hassle of paying the fees, taking the courses, and going through a background check, then it's almost certain that you are dealing with a law abiding citizen. The first year of Illinois' CCW has basically been describes as a "non-event". Where is the blood running in the streets that the opponents shrieked about?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    1. You didn't answer my question about how the "dispute" in the viral video would have escalated if the thugs were armed.

    2. Despite Emanuel's statistics, there still is a lot of blood flowing in Chicago's streets. I guess you would answer that there would be less if the "random, faultless teenage bystander victims" shot in the neighborhoods were armed.

    3. Sure, that gun in the story wasn't concealed, but as I mentioned, it still shows the gun lover mentality on how to deal with a dispute. You rather than the 15 year old girl were armed?

    As I've indicated before, gps in cell phones and video indicate that some perps might be identified and caught, not that some robbery victim gets caught in a shoot out. Rahm provided his statistics in the CTA Press Release that started with his name (whether we believe them or not), why don't you provide statistics about a comparable transit system in the wild, wild West?

  • In reply to jack:

    You're a riot, Jack. "Gun lover mentality"? I guess a few teenagers drag racing means that many of us have "car lover mentality". I'm not going to defend the son. He was an idiot. They should have called the police. End of story. There are 300+ million firearms in the U.S. today. While tragic, this is not even a blip on the radar. It's estimated that guns are used for defensive purposes over a million times a year, often without a shot being fired.

    What viral video are you referring to?

    Yes, there would very likely be less blood in the streets if more people were armed. Notice how the cities with the most draconian gun laws always seem to have the highest murder rates, e.g. Chicago, D.C.? Firearm sales and ownership have risen steadily over the years, while major crime rates have dropped. You think this is a coincidence? At a minimum, with millions of law abiding folks carrying legally, the shootout in the streets simply don't happen, as predicted by the opponents of concealed carry.

    Again, I have no idea what you're asking for regarding "transit systems in the wild, wild west". In case you've slept for the past 150 years, there is no wild, wild west. Are you asking me to dig up crime statistics for cities that don't bar potential crime victims from carrying on public transportation systems?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    What viral video are you referring to?

    Read Kevin's post before posting, dude.

  • In reply to jack:

    Something that couldn't happen in Chicago:

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    1. Anecdote, not statistic.
    2. Gun club newsletter.
    3. Big hero--she scared off someone with a BB gun with the threat of real lead.

    I thought you were going to post something like concealed carry or a armed guard in every classroom stopped the next Sandy Hook. But, no.

    And as "something that couldn't happen in Chicago": was concealed carry banned on the sidewalk on the 4200 block of N. Hermitage? Or did someone have his phone taken?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Well, tit for tat. You post a completely unrelated anecdotal story about a non-CCW scenario involving road rage, so I post a more relevant story of a CCW holder preventing a crime on public transportation. Here's the original story from a news site: We could trade stories all day, but the statistics are rather clear, more guns equal less crime.

    Now that you mention it, allowing teachers to carry is a wonderful idea. Few schools have the money to pay for armed security guards, so having teaching willing and able to carry is a no-brainer. Of course, in your world the teachers and students would simply hide behind a desk, and hope the bad guy is a lousy shot.

    Illinois was the last state to pass CCW, so it'll be a while before we see the full benefits. We have over 20 years of catching up to do.

  • The proliferation of mobile phone "kill switches" is probably a contributing factor. Stealing a phone is not quite as lucrative as it used to be, as the phone will likely be unusable except for parts.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Maybe the person arrested for stealing Zach Emanuel's phone figured that out, eventually.

    I'm surprised that the person who was caught with the phone wasn't charged with possession of stolen property (at least that was not included in the news report).

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