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Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems (2015)

Chapter: Chapter 4 - Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 27
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 28
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
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25 C H A P T E R 4 Crime and Security Data The reporting of criminal incidents in the United States has been centralized under the FBI’s UCR Program. UCR consists of a series of designator codes that categorize crime for statistical purposes. Basically, once collected, offense data is categorized into a predetermined set of “major” Part I crimes or Part II offenses. Today, 4 annual publications, Crime in the United States, National Incident-Based Reporting System, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and Hate Crime Statistics are produced from data received from over 18,000 city, university/college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the program. The plat- form used for the collection of the crime information is the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Transit police, railroad police, and other transportation industry law enforcement must sub- mit their crime occurrence data through a state UCR Program. Although the option of direct reporting to the FBI is available, the transportation industry has not undertaken to report in this manner. This is mainly because NIBRS has been designed to be generated as a byproduct of local, state, and federal law enforcement automated records systems. Since the transportation industry does not directly provide industry crime statistics, the FBI is not able to separate or segment the criminal offenses that occur on transit systems. Transit-related incidents are typically reported in batch form by local law enforcement agencies that have geo- graphic jurisdiction over the location of occurrence. These agencies of jurisdiction are identified through use of an NIBRS-authorized ORI (originating agency) number. When a criminal inci- dent happens at a particular location, i.e., a transit station or maintenance facility, the occurrences can only be officially captured through reporting to state or local law enforcement. State and local law enforcement does not generally possess the means to isolate crime data by industry. Most automated crime incident reporting systems are address based meaning that a look-up performed for a crime occurrence will be identified through street number and name. Locations identifiable as transit infrastructure make it possible to obtain limited crime statistics; however, further analysis and segmentation would be required to obtain an accurate determina- tion of crime occurring on a given transit system. The problem with obtaining transit-specific crime data is sometimes made more difficult because of the agency’s service area, which often operates across a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement coverage area with different police agen- cies providing public safety services both independently and concurrently. Operating through one or more counties, cities, townships, or boroughs can cause an intractable difficulty in deter- mining an accurate picture of crime occurring on a given transit system. In such circumstances, the transit agency must engage in a significant effort to outreach, coordinate, collect, and analyze information from multiple law enforcement agencies. Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures

26 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems There is a federal level crime incident data collection effort, FTA’s NTD, in place for transit. However, the system is based on transit agency direct reporting and not the FBI UCR/NIBRS system. The NTD mirrors the UCR in using Part I, Major Crimes and Part II, Offenses criteria; however, there are different characterizations, and additional descriptive designators that have been included in the NTD (see Table 4.1). Reporting to the NTD is mandatory for all transit agencies that receive FTA formula funds. Part I Major Crimes Homicide The killing of one or more human beings by another, including the following: • Murder and non-negligent manslaughter—the willful (non-negligent) killing of 1 or more human beings by another. • Negligent manslaughter—the killing of another person or persons through gross negligence. Rape The carnal knowledge of a person forcibly and against that person’s will. Aggravated Assault An unlawful a…ack by one person upon another wherein the offender uses a weapon in a threatening manner or the vic‡m suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury. Robbery The taking or a…empt to take anything of value under confronta‡onal circumstances from the care, custody, or control of another person by force or threat of force, violence, or by puˆng the vic‡m in fear of immediate harm. The use or threat of force includes firearms, knives or cuˆng instruments, other dangerous weapons (clubs, acid, explosives), and strong-arm techniques (hands, fists, feet). Larceny/The‘ The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or construc‡ve possession of another person. This includes pocket picking, purse snatching, shopli‘ing, the‘s from motor vehicles, the‘s of motor vehicle parts and accessories, the‘ of bicycles, the‘ from buildings, the‘ from coin-operated devices or machines, and all other the‘ not specifically classified. Motor Vehicle The‘ The the‘ or a…empted the‘ of a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle is a self - propelled vehicle that runs on the surface of land and not on rails. Arson To unlawfully and inten onally damage, or aempt to damage, any real or personal property by fire or incendiary device. Part II Offenses Fare Evasion The unlawful use of transit facili es by riding without paying the applicable fare. Nonviolent Civil Disturbance Nonviolent public demonstra ons that may or may not be disrup ve. Other Assault An unlawful aack or aempted aack by one person upon another where no weapon was used or that did not result in serious or aggravated injury to the vic m. Trespass To unlawfully enter land, a dwelling, or other real property. Vandalism The willful or malicious destruc on, injury, disfigurement, or defacement of any public or private property, real or personal, without consent of the owner or person having custody or control by cuƒng, tearing, breaking, marking, pain ng, drawing, covering with filth, or any other such means as may be specified by local law. Other NTD Security Incident Categories Bombing The unlawful and inten onal delivery, placement, discharge, or detona on of an explosive or other lethal device. Bomb Threats A credible wrien or oral (e.g., telephone) communica on to a transit agency threatening the use of an explosive or incendiary device for the purpose of disrup ng public transit services or to create a public emergency. Chemical, Biological, or Nuclear Release The unlawful and inten onal delivery, placement, discharge, or detona on of a biological, chemical, or nuclear lethal device. Table 4.1. Part I and Part II offense categories and definitions contained in the NTD.

Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures 27 In TCRP Synthesis 80: Transit Security Update, Nakanishi (2009) commented, the FTA expanded its collection of transit crime statistics in 2002 and has been categorizing incidents into major and nonmajor incidents: major incidents involve fatalities and injuries and are much fewer in number than nonmajor incidents. Major incidents are defined as those incidents and offenses involving a fatality other than a suicide, injuries requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene for 2 or more per- sons, property damage equal to or exceeding $25,000, an evacuation owing to life safety reasons, or a main- line derailment. Although homicide is always considered a major incident, other Part I and Part II offenses may or may not be “major” depending on the severity of the offense. Nonmajor incidents are defined as those incidents not already reported on the Major Incident Reporting form. In addition to Part I and Part II data, the FTA collects information about bombings, bomb threats, chemical or biological releases, sabotage, and cyber incidents. The glossary provides definitions of major and nonmajor incidents and offenses. Also, The results of detailed analysis performed for this study revealed abnormalities and inconsistencies in the NTD data, and did not reflect the experiences of some transit agencies. Not all transit agencies required reporting crime and incident data have been reporting them to the NTD, and the number of transit agencies reporting to the NTD has not been consistent. Therefore, year- to-year comparisons and trend analysis may be inaccurate. Data entry errors also occur. For instance, a data entry error caused the analysis to show a significant increase in burglaries, when this was not the case. Given the NTD transit agency self-reporting crime database issues described above, the con- cept of separating out transportation-/transit-related crime into its own relational database is worthy of consideration. Presently there is no method to capture the extent of transit-related criminal activity or the associated security risk that is inherent in the operation or utilization of the nation’s transit systems. Crime Rates in Transit The September 1982 issue of Transportation featured an article titled, “Crime in Public Tran- sit Systems: An Environmental Design Perspective” (Pearlstein and Wachs 1982). The article included information about a statistical analysis of criminal incidents occurring over a 10-year Cyber Incident Involves the targe ng of transit facili es, personnel, informa on, computer, or telecommunica ons systems associated with transit agencies. Proscribed ac vi es include the following: • Denial or disrup on of computer or telecommunica ons services, especially train control systems. • Unauthorized monitoring of computer or telecommunica ons systems. • Unauthorized disclosure of proprietary or classified informa on stored within or communicated through computer or telecommunica ons systems. • Unauthorized modifica on or destruc on of computer programming codes, computer network databases stored informa on, or computer capabili es. • Manipula on of computer or telecommunica ons services resul ng from fraud, financial loss, or other criminal viola ons. Hijacking Seizing control of a transit vehicle by force. Sabotage Sabotage or tampering with transit facili es’ assets may be a means to achieve any of the above events, such as star ng a fire or spreading an airborne chemical agent, or it may be a stand-alone act, such as tampering with track to induce derailment. Source: Adapted from TCRP Synthesis 80: Transit Security Update (Nakanishi 2009). Table 4.1. (Continued).

28 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems period on the Southern California Rapid Transit District of Los Angeles. The analysis disclosed that crime on transit occurs at a rate approximately in proportion to transit ridership. Further that, “most crimes occur on routes which traverse areas having high crime rates in general.” Sim- ilarly, in 1984 the U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Special Programs Adminis- tration (RSPA) Transportation Systems Center published a comprehensive report titled, Transit Security: A Description of Problems and Countermeasures (Mauri et al. 1984). To gain an overview on transit security issues, the research team conducted site visits at 13 U.S. transit systems. Sys- tems were selected to represent a variety of sizes, geographical locations, and modes (bus/light rail/heavy rail). The abstract stated, The report examines transit security problems in the following areas: crimes against passengers and employees; crimes involving revenues, including fare evasion by patrons and revenue theft by employees; and crimes against transit property, including vandalism and graffiti. The RSPA report came to an important conclusion about transit crime at individual transit systems in general: . . . the level of mass transit crime mirrors the crime rate of the surrounding area. Mass transit systems located in high crime areas generally experience high levels of transit crime. In addition, transit systems servicing broad metropolitan areas will experience their most severe crime problems in those areas where crime is most prevalent. In that the largest transit systems typically service the most densely populated and crime-ridden areas, it follows that these systems will have the greatest crime problems. Table 4.2 discloses that with the exception of Drunk and Disorderly Conduct or Local Ordi- nance Violations that crime occurs “very infrequently” on small systems and “infrequently” on medium-sized systems. These 1984 findings are consistent with the survey conducted by the F-18 project team in 2013 (see Table 4.3). Results tend to support that the larger the transit agency in terms of ridership the more likely it is that crime will occur on the system. Category of Crime Size of Transit System Large (>100 million passengers) Medium (20-100 million passengers) Small (<20 million passengers) Murder ## # # Rape ## ## # Aggravated Assault #### ### ## Other Sex Offenses #### ## ## Robbery ##### ### ## Simple Assault ##### ## ## Larceny ###### ##### ## Drunk and Disorderly Conduct ##### ##### #### Local Ordinance Viola ons ####### ###### ##### Legend Common(a) ####### Infrequent ### Very Frequent ###### Very Infrequent ## Frequent ##### Rare(c) # Occasional(b) #### (a) More than 10 per day (b) Approximately one per week (c) Less than one incident per year Source: (Mauri et al. 1984) Table 4.2. Frequency of crime by transit system size (1984).

Crime, Statistics, and Reporting Procedures 29 Category of Crime Size of Transit System Large (>100 million passengers) Medium (20-100 million passengers) Small (<20 million passengers) Murder ## # # Rape # # # Aggravated Assault ##### #### ## Other Sex Offenses ## # # Robbery ##### #### ## Simple Assault ##### ### ## Larceny ###### #### ## Drunk and Disorderly Conduct ###### ###### ### Local Ordinance Viola ons ####### ###### #### Legend Common(a) ####### Infrequent ### Very Frequent ###### Very Infrequent ## Frequent ##### Rare(c) # Occasional(b) #### (a) More than 10 per day (b) Approximately one per week (c) Less than one incident per year Table 4.3. Frequency of crime by transit system size (2013).

Next: Chapter 5 - Transit Crime and Security Problems »
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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 180: Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems explores the current state of practice and identifies and responds to the specific challenges and issues associated with the security of small- and medium-sized transit agencies. The report follows the five stages of protection activity (prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery) by providing baseline options and identifying potential security countermeasures that could be deployed by both of these sizes of transit agencies.

The report is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

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