The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Crime On The CTA Dropped 25 Percent In 2015, Mayor Says

By Mae Rice in News on Jan 27, 2016 4:09PM

Photo credit: Stephanie Barto

Violent crime may be spiking throughout the city, but on the CTA, at least, crime is down, according to an announcement from the CTA and the Mayor’s Office. Specifically, in 2015 it was down 25 percent from 2014—and 2015 was the fourth consecutive year of CTA crime decline.

The most common crimes, theft and robberies, fell 19 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

Violent crime, or “serious crime” as the statement termed it, was quite rare. Murder, criminal sexual assault, aggravated assault, and the aforementioned robbery all happened about seven times for every 10 million rides 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.”

“We will not tolerate any criminal acts on the CTA” is an almost comically specific assertion. However, it’s true that the cameras have an impact; CTA surveillance footage led to a confession in at least one high-profile assault case in Rogers Park in December.

One peculiarity of this press release: though it says total crime on the CTA dropped 25 pecent, crime on both buses and trains fell 32 percent, meaning crime must have fallen less impressively—certainly less than 25 percent—in some other area of CTA services. We’re awaiting an explanation from the Mayor’s office.