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30 C H A P T E R 5 Irrespective of the size of the agency, in general terms, transit security problems fall into a small group of categories: (1) passenger security, (2) employee security, (3) revenue security, (4) transit equipment and property protection, (5) fraud, and (6) homeland security-related threats and vulnerabilities. Passenger Security Understanding the crime and security threats associated with passenger security starts with recognition that the operating characteristics of transit systems create inherent vulnerabilities and in some cases can optimize the opportunity for crime victimization. The use of public tran- sit creates circumstances in which large numbers of people are often crowded together into enclosed spaces or concentrated into confined areas. As stated in FTAâs Security Design Consid- erations (Rabkin et al. 2004) âthe high concentrations of people in contained spacesâwhether it be a full bus crowded with standees, or a downtown subway platform at rush hourâmake tran- sit facilities inviting targets and provides another significant challenge for agencies to address.â In contrast, the potential isolation or limited occupancy of transit facilities or vehicles at certain times can result in people becoming targets of opportunity for criminals who seek to avoid detection or apprehension. Whether caused by large crowds, confined numbers of people in enclosed spaces, or isolated areas, the target attractiveness of transitâs operating venues or occupied conveyances is exac- erbated by the necessity of openness and the requirement to maintain public access. Transit systems must remain open and accessible to thousands of daily customers, sometimes 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. And comingled among these law-abiding fare-paying passengers is a criminal element whose goal is to commit crimes by taking advantage of targets of opportunity. Crimes against persons include homicide, aggravated and simple assault, robbery, rape, sex offenses, and harassment. Each transit system experiences its own unique blend of these types of crimes in terms of frequency and severity. For example, most small- and medium-sized transit agencies will never experience a homicide, but it is also possible for a relatively minor type of robbery to go horribly wrong resulting in a fatality. Homicide There are differing circumstances and types of murder that occur in society, ranging from pre- meditated first degree murder that requires malice aforethought to accidental, negligent, reckless manslaughter. In general, in the latter the homicide has occurred without intent. Both small- and medium-sized transit agencies should rarely see any form of homicide on their systems. Transit Crime and Security Problems
Transit Crime and Security Problems 31 However, even these systems may not be immune to isolated incidents where murder is caused by conflict between primary or non-primary family, friends, or acquaintances. Similarly, strang- ers in pursuit of gain or some other rational or irrational motivation may commit murder either concurrent with the commission of a felony, or as a result of mental deficiency. Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, and Harassment Assault crimes are generally impulsive, emotionally-basedâtypically angerâand can result from conflict occurring between known relations or strangers. However, there are also incidents where an aggressor âlies in waitâ to attack the victim. These types of occurrences of assault are premedi- tated in conjunction with some form of preconceived motive, including robbery. Assault crimes are charged based on âdegreesâ of consequence or through determination of weapon types whether used or possessed. Simple assault or harassment may occur based solely on a nonviolent offensive touching, for example, spitting on another individual, while aggravated assault would be charged in circumstances where a weapon is brandished in commission of a felony or an individual is severely beaten with lasting injuries. Along this violent or perceived violent continuum, victims who suffer injury are categorized and offenders are charged with either a felony or misdemeanor offense. Small- and medium-sized transit agencies can expect to have some form of assault on pas- sengers occur periodically, but usually along the lesser side of the continuum. However, it should be noted that because few, if any, transit systems screen passengers for weapons in common areas of stations, at depots, and on board vehicles, there is a potential for more violent consequences. Robbery In the transit environment simple robbery incidents have traversed in terms of valuables of choice stolen from stealthy pick pocketing and wallet grabs, to purse snatching, gold chain snatching, and more recently to cell phone, tablet, laptop computer, and electronics theft. The nature of attacks has also become more brazen with continual media coverage of scenes of transit passen- gers primarily on city buses or trains somewhere in the United States being robbed at gunpoint, or suffering vicious assaults at the hands of one or more assailants. Unfortunately passengers occupying the enclosed space of a bus or train car represent a captive group for would-be assail- ants. Incidents of robbery also occur in station and at transit stops. Both small- and medium- sized transit agencies must be prepared to contend with the commission of robberies against their passengers although incidents of violent attacks remain infrequent. Rape and Sex Offenses Rape and other felony-related sex offenses rarely occur on transit systems. Victimization occurs when passengers become targets of opportunity. For example, during late night hours at an un- occupied, sparsely attended or closed station, or in a transit-operated parking lot, a perpetrator may take advantage of the seclusion to prey upon an unescorted passenger. Sexual harassment types of offenses may occur more frequently and in fact occurrences may be underreported. Rid- ers are subject to being ogled, flashed, groped or even sexually assaulted. In 2009, Metropolitan New York Transit Authority reported that close to 600 sex offenses occurred on board the sub- way resulting in 417 arrests. Time of occurrence was usually rush hour either in the morningâ roughly 8:00 am to 10:00 amâfollowed by the afternoon rushâbetween 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. More recently the availability of cell phone cameras to record either photographs or video has resulted in an increase in complaints regarding the secret and unauthorized taking of âupskirtâ photos of women on public transit. In Boston, Massachusetts, in 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court overruled a lower court that had upheld charges against a suspect who was arrested by tran- sit police. Police set up a sting after getting reports that the suspect was using his cell phone to take
32 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems photos and video up female ridersâ skirts and dresses. State law âdoes not apply to photographing (or videotaping or electronically surveilling) persons who are fully clothed and, in particular, does not reach the type of up-skirting that the defendant is charged with attempting to accom- plish on the MBTA,â the court said. In response to the ruling the Massachusetts state legislature took swift action passing new legislation; âanyone who photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another personâs sexual or intimate parts without that personâs consent would face a misdemeanor charge and a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in jail and a $5,000 fine.â The crime becomes a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for photographs or recordings of a child under 18. Distributing such photos would carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Other jurisdictions hold that âPeeping Tomâ laws that are typically on the books to protect people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude, or laws against secretly recording intimate parts of individuals represents sexual harassment do apply under such circumstances. Employee Security Like transit passengers, transit employees, especially bus drivers, are potential victims of transit crime. When crimes against persons involving employees occur during working hours, the events are properly categorized as workplace violence incidents. The accepted typology for workplace violence incidents is described by the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the report, Workplace Violence: Issues in Response (Rugala/Isaacs 2002) (see Figure 5.1): The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) collects information on violent crimes against persons in the workplace. Workplace violence is defined as nonfatal violence (rape/ sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault) against employed persons age 16 or older that occurred while they were at work or on duty. Attempted crimes are included along with completed victimizations. Homicide crime is captured and reported separately through the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Between 1993 and 1999 the average annual workplace victimization for âall violent crimeâ types reported was 1,744,300. The majority of workplace violence incidents that occur are lesser cases of assaults, domestic violence, stalking, threats, harassment (including sexual harassment), and physical and/or emotional abuse (Figure 5.2). Of the 4 types of workplace violence categories, Type 1âCrime Related and Type 2â Service-Provider Related, are the main areas of concern to transit and transit employees. This is not to say that worker on worker violence or domestic types of assaults do not occur, rather that there is an employee performance or duty-based component associated with Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 Violence According to the FBI, âviolence by criminals unconnected to the workplace accounts for the vast majorityânearly 80 percentâof workplace homicides. In these incidents, the motive is Type 1 Violent acts by criminals who have no other connec on to the workplace, but enter to commit robbery or another crime Type 2 Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, pa ents, students, inmates or any others for who an organiza on provides services Type 3 Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee Type 4 Violence commiÂed in the workplace by someone who doesnât work there, but has a personal rela onship with an employeeâan abusive spouse or domes c partner Figure 5.1. Workplace violence topology (Rugala and Isaacs 2002).
Transit Crime and Security Problems 33 usually theft, and in a great many cases the criminal is carrying a gun or other weapon, increasing the likelihood that the victim will be killed or seriously wounded.â Type 2 Violence These cases typically involve assaults on an employee performing occupational tasks committed by a customer, patient, passenger, or someone else receiving service. Homicide In 2012, there were 767 workers killed as a result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals, including 463 homicides and 225 suicides. The work-related suicide total for 2012 declined 10 percent from the 2011 total and the homicide total was also slightly lower. Shootings were the most frequent manner of death in both homicides (81 percent) and suicides (48 percent). Of the 338 fatal work injuries involving female workers, 29 percent involved homicides. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, TABLE A-1, Fatal Occupational Inju- ries by Industry and Event or Exposure, All United States, (2012), disclosed that 60 fatalities occurred under the category of âTransit and Ground Passenger Transportationâ with 35 of these incidents recorded as âViolence and Other Injury by Persons or Animals.â Incidents of Type 1 violence perpetrated against transit employees by criminals who are moti- vated to commit theft or robbery occur at a much lower rate than in the past mainly because of the industryâs changeover to exact fare collection systems. Transit Security: A Description of Problems and Countermeasures (Mauri et al. 1997) described the changeover and what prompted transit companies to switch to a system in which drivers were no longer required to carry cash: Prior to the introduction of exact fare systems, the cash that bus drivers carried was an invitation to driver assault. Robbery of bus drivers reached epidemic proportions during the 1960s. From 1963 to 1968, the nationâs bus systems experienced a five-fold increase in bus driver robberies and a tenfold increase in driver deaths. In Washington, DC during one month in 1968, one driver was shot during a robbery and another was murdered in a robbery attempt. The immediate response to these events in Washington, DC was to enact an exact fare procedure which was effective in sharply reducing robbery attempts. Under pressure from the Amalgamated Transit Union, the exact fare procedure was quickly adopted by many bus systems around the country, and a major cause of attacks on drivers was eliminated. Of course, station or depot ticket sales employees working in locations that are sparsely attended or at times absent passengers or other staff may yet be targeted by criminals. However, it should be Figure 5.2. Average annual number, rate, and percent of workplace victimization by type of crime, 1993â99 (from Rugala and Isaacs 2002).
34 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems noted that there is a continuing major trend toward cashless fare collection systems and the place- ment of automated ticket dispensing machines in transit centers that is further removing the oppor- tunity for criminals to obtain cash through dangerous confrontations like hold-ups or robberies. Fare collection though remains a leading contributor to Type 2 violence in transit. Unfortunately passengers can become quite upset about a dispute associated with their transportation. Most com- mon reasons for fare disputes are arguments over transfers, dispute as to proper fares, expired or invalid passes, and arguments about reduced fare authorizations. But violent reactions by pas- sengers are not limited solely to disputes about money. Anger at the quality of service or denial of service, transportation delays, or some other precipitating event may easily cause unpredictable and dangerous behavior to occur. Similarly mental health issues, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or perhaps even unrelated anxiety over personal circumstances can trigger an argument between a passenger and a transit operator that sometimes can have fatal outcomes. Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, and Harassment The highest consequence security issue that small- and medium-sized transit agencies must confront on a daily basis is the potential for employees to be assaulted while performing their duties. Although lesser crimes or violations may occur more frequently, by and large the most significant criminal threat outside of homicide that the transit agency will face is as an aggravated assault committed against an employee. See Figure 5.3. Based on the service profiles described previously, small- and medium-sized agencies are typi- cally bus-only, or a combination of bus, trolley, van, and other non-railed vehicles, including paratransit. These conveyances are driven by an operator who is the public-facing point of contact for the transit agency. Transit operators engage the public, both law-abiding citizens and criminals alike, on a continuing basis. They are also confronted with mentally disabled persons who may or may not exhibit hostile behaviors. Transit operators are almost always alone on board a vehicle without any secondary response personnel to provide timely aid or assistance. In 2012 the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) developed a factsheet for local unions entitled Preventing Violence against Bus Operators (ATU 2012). The fact sheet listed the following risk factors associated with operator assaults: â¢ Interacting directly with the public. â¢ Working alone or in isolated areas. Figure 5.3. Assault prevention (SEPTA = Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority).
Transit Crime and Security Problems 35 â¢ Having a mobile workplace. â¢ Working late night or early morning hours. â¢ Working in high-crime areas. â¢ Providing services to people who may be experiencing frustration (for example, with fare increases or service reductions). â¢ Having a workplace where access is uncontrolled. â¢ Handling money or fares. â¢ Having enforcement responsibilities. â¢ Having inadequate escape routes. Transit Cooperative Research Program Project F-21, âTools and Strategies for Eliminating Assaults Against Transit Operatorsâ (Countermeasures Assessments & Security Experts, LLC forthcoming), a route-factor threat and vulnerability matrix, was created consisting of 3 risk categories with associated considerations: (1) environmental, (2) operational, and (3) response (Table 5.1). Note that, in particular, the second category of âoperational considerationsâ describes potential causal effect vulnerabilities that may result from problem conditions. The research, ROUTE FACTORS Threat Vulnerability Environmental Consideraons 1. Populaon Density Along the Route X 2. Bars and Nightclubs X 3. Past Incidents of Assault X 4. Route and Vehicle Capaci es and Passenger Ridership Rates X 5. Entertainment Venues Along the Route (sta ons, events, places of congrega on) X 6. Proximity to Crime Hotspots X 7. Temporal Effects X 8. Juvenile Crime X 9. Gang Acvity X 10. Prostuon and Vice X 11. Drug Trade X Operaonal Consideraons 12. Known Threats X 13. Measures in Place to Address Apparent Security Risks â Vehicle Security Countermeasures X 14. Measures in Place To Address Apparent Security Risks â Operator Assault Security Countermeasures X 15. Training and Skill Level of Operators and Crew/Development and Enforcement of Operator Safety-Related Rules and Policies X X 16. Delays in Schedule X 17. Fleet CondiÂon and Maintenance X 18. Incident ReporÂng and Management Systems X 19. Fare Structure and Disputes X 20. Workplace Violence Policy and Procedure X Response ConsideraÂons 21. Measures in Place To Address Apparent Security Risks â Security Personnel X 22. Police or Security Response Capability Along The Route X 23. RelaÂonship with Local Law Enforcement X 24. Passenger Security InspecÂons, Random Searches, Presence of Uniformed Personnel X 25. Displacement of Crime X Table 5.1. Route factors, environmental considerations.
36 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems which remains a work in process, looks at the presence or absence of threats, vulnerabilities, and assault reduction safeguards. Subject to change, the following definitions are associated with the TCRP Project F-21 matrix: â¢ Threat: Natural or human-made occurrences, individuals, entities, or actions that will dam- age the system, its facilities, or it patrons. Security threats include any actions that detract from overall security. They range from the extreme of terrorist-initiated bombs to more common events such as theft of services, pickpocketing, graffiti, and vandalism. Threats for purposes of the TCRP Project F-21 are defined as specific activities that will cause harm to the transit system, its facilities, or it patrons. Generally, threat also considers the intent and feasibility of a specific type of attack (e.g., scenario). â¢ Vulnerability: The susceptibility of the system to a particular type of security hazard. Vul- nerabilities can be corrected, but in the face of limited resources, a risk analysis is required to prioritize mitigation measures. Because transit systems may cover a vast amount of territory that is unprotected, aspects of the system may be vulnerable to terrorist attack. It is gener- ally assumed that a system is vulnerable to a natural hazard event (earthquake, tornado, etc.) because the natural hazard cannot be prevented regardless of the countermeasure deployed. â¢ Environment: The human-made or human-altered space in which individuals live out their daily lives, through which transit navigates. â¢ Operational: A collection of activities that together assure that transit services are cost-effectively provided to meet the short-term mobility needs of a community. â¢ Response: Arrival of the police/security personnel at a location from which an alarm signal has been received. It can also refer to the length of time it takes the police/security personnel to respond to an alarm. Small- and medium-sized transit systems should consider that assaults against an operator may take place. For the most part, the assault or perhaps harassment will be of lesser severity. TCRP Synthesis 93: Practices to Protect Bus Operators from Passenger Assault (Nakanishi and Fleming 2012) defines assault broadly as âovert physical and verbal acts of aggression by a pas- senger that interfere with the mission of a bus operatorâto complete his or her scheduled run safelyâand that adversely affect the safety of the operator and customers.â In the survey of transit agencies conducted in conjunction with TCRP Synthesis 93, 61 responses were received in which assault was further characterized (Table 5.2). TCRP Synthesis 93 provided insight into the types of assault that create the largest problem for transit agencies (Table 5.3). (Note also the commentary below that warns that minor assaults such as spitting are sometimes predecessor events to aggravated felony assault). When asked which operator assault type(s) is or has recently been problematic for the responding agency, the assault type considered to be most problematic for agencies was verbal threats, intimidation, or harassment, as indicated in Table 3. This result mirrors those of workplace violence studies that indi- Definion % Aggravated assaults involving weapons Simple assaults (e.g., kicking, punching) Sexual assault Sping Verbal threats/inmidaon/harassment involving weapons Projecles thrown inside the bus (including liquids) Verbal threats/inmidaon/harassment without weapons Projecles thrown at the bus 100 100 95 84 74 72 62 48 Total Responses 61 Table 5.2. Assault definitions.
Transit Crime and Security Problems 37 cate that verbal attacks are the most common form of workplace violence. The next most problematic assault type was spitting. Although seemingly minor, being spat upon can be temporarily traumatic to the victim. Also, because aggravated assaults that result in physical injuries can be preceded by minor assaults, even minor incidents need to be reported and closely monitored. Note that 100% of large agen- cies reported that they consider spitting to be problematic, whereas 70% of midsize and 26% of smaller agencies reported it as problematic. Revenue Security Assuring that passengers pay their fare for riding on the bus, trolley, or train has been a chronic problem for transit agencies worldwide since the inception of pay-for-service ground transportation systems. In the United States, the necessary openness and accessibility of tran- sit system design has spawned varied approaches by agencies to protect revenue. Bridging the countermeasures spectrum from turnstiles and hardened steel exit points of a system like the New York Subway, to the proof-of-payment honor systems of First Transit or the San Diego Transit system, fare evasion or avoidance strategies range from being timeworn and tested to technologically innovative and even experimental. Failure to pay fare is a crime, generally called âfraudâ in most jurisdictions. And criminals are becoming just as sophisticated and innovative in finding ways to defeat fare collection systems as transit agencies are in trying to defend them. Fare evasion and fare theft are reported as major security problems at many transit systems. Fare evasion, as defined in the NTD is âthe unlawful use of transit facilities by riding without paying the applicable fare.â Some of the terms used by transit agencies to specifically describe fare evasion include, misuse of tickets, fare evasion, and counterfeiting and forgery of fare media. As stated in Transit Security: A Description of Problems and Countermeasures (Mauri et al. 1997), there are many forms of fare evasion and fare theft. Table 5.4 contains examples of the types of fare evasion tactics. Transit Equipment and Property Protection Protecting against losses associated with the property and infrastructure of transit systems is largely a matter of controlling theft and vandalism. These 2 primary areas of security-related concerns demand attention at most agencies on an ongoing basis. Theft can take the form of both internal pilferages by employees or through externally caused losses by individuals who target valuable materials used by public transit agencies. Internal Theft Although sometimes employees are literally caught in the act of stealing from their employ- ers, typically employee theft is often first detected through findings associated with shrinkage Problemac Assault Type % Verbal threats/inmidaon/harassment Assaults involving sping Assaults involving projecles thrown at the bus Assaults involving projecles thrown inside the bus (including liquids) Assaults while vehicle is in moon Assaults due to operator race/gender/size Simple assault Assaults involving weapons 81 60 38 26 9 5 3 2 Total Responses 58 Table 5.3. Problematic assault types.
38 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems uncovered through the transit agencyâs audit or inventory program that identifies shortages or missing materials from warehouses, depots, or other maintenance facilities. However, just because shrinkage is identified, it does not always follow that larceny of property is detected or even investigated. Depending on the effectiveness of inventory control systems, stealing from the transit agency may occur unchecked if appropriate safeguards or security measures are not in place to prevent or deter them. Unfortunately, in many instances, action is only taken when the incidents become widespread or the loss becomes intolerable. Fare Payment AvoidanceâPayment procedures typically require passage through some barrier, either physical or human. The fare evader searches for opportunies to avoid or surmount this barrier. On a bus, with the operator monitoring the payment of fares, fare evaders use avoidance techniques such as entering the vehicle through the rear door or boarding with a large group hoping to avoid detecon. Shortchangingâ"Shorng the box" is a common method of fare evasion. In this case, the passenger deposits a collecon of coins into the fare box that amounts to something less than the full fare. If the driver is unable or unwilling to verify the amount deposited, the passenger rides at a discount. There is lile risk for the fare evader. If challenged, the shortchanger simply pretends to have erred and deposits the balance of the fare. Refusal to PayâThe fare evader refuses to pay the fare. In many circumstances, the operator, inmidated by the situaon, will allow the fare evasion to occur rather than cause a confrontaon or risk an assault. Misuse of Fare MediaâMass transit systems allow a variety of fare media to be used for fare payment. In addion to cash, fare media include tokens, ckets, transfers, and passes. Deliberate misuse or falsificaon of fare media is a common form of fare evasion. Discounted FaresâTransit systems oen sell passes at a substanal discount to youths, students, the elderly, and the disabled. Unauthorized persons aempt to use these passes to gain entrance to the system at a reduced rate. "Two Ticket Scam"âIn transit systems that determine fare rates based upon trip length, regular users can carry a set of fare ckets from various points throughout the system to "shorten" the ride and reduce the fare. Tampering with Automated Fare CollecÂon (AFC) MachinesâAFC cket vending machines have not proven to be tamperproof. AlteraÂon of MagneÂc Fare CardsâTransit users with access to the proper equipment can and do alter the value of their magnec fare cards. Magnec fare ckets can also be easily demagnezed. The transit system will usually refund the remaining value of the cket in this situaon on the assumpon that the demagnezaon was accidental. Swipe-sellersâas the hustlers are called, commonly jam the bill slot in metro card machines to force riders to buy a âswipeâ to get past the turnsle. They charge anywhere from $1 to $2. The fare is $2.50. They exploit flaws in discarded cards that allow someone to get through aer repeatedly swiping it, or they charge people to go through a service gate. "Strip split"âsomeone buys a fare card, cuts out the magnec strip and splits it lengthwise up to 4 mes. Then the pieces are glued to a regular demagnezed fare card and turned in. The crook adds a nickel or so to the fare card clone, and out pops a new genuine fare card worth the full amount. The new cards are then sold on the black market. People who receive a transit subsidy and don't end up using it all can illegally sell their surplus subsidy on the black market. Fare card âsleight of hand.ââThe thief usually helps the tourist through a turnsle or cage and then swipes their card for them, and hands back a worthless card in exchange. For transit systems using the proof-of-payment or "honor system" evaders just ride without paying and hope they don't get caught, or they can make a break for it when they see a fare checker coming. Fare media counterfeiÂngâincludes currency, passes, ckets, transfers, and tokens. The counterfeing of transit passes ranges in sophiscaon from simple photocopying to careful reprinng. Monthly or yearly passes oen inspire careful and expensive counterfeing efforts. Table 5.4. Forms of fare evasion and fare theft.
Transit Crime and Security Problems 39 Generally the intent of pilferage is to obtain items or property with high resale value. Spare parts at bus or paratransit systems, including radiators, transmissions, engines, voltage regula- tors, fuel injectors, alternators, and starters, represent high-value automotive materials that can be sold for a profit to receivers of stolen goods. Similarly, although not as costly, consumable auto parts such as oil, tires, spark plugs, anti-freeze, paint, batteries, and even fuel can also âgo missingâ on a frequent basis. These types of theft or losses are often written off as normal use of materials making them virtually undetectable. Hand and power tools, air compressors, genera- tors, or other types of repair equipment represent a third type of transit system property that may end up stolen and result in costly replacement. Preventing internal fraud, sometimes called âwhite collar crimeâ is also a matter for consider- ation by transit agencies. While information about the occurrence of this type of security risk is often closely held, there are numerous instances of agency employees illegally converting goods purchased with company credit cards or purchase orders to either personal use or for resale. External Theft While the random hijacking or joyride instance of bus vehicle theft continues to occur infre- quently, the much more serious crime of grand theft of one or more buses from an agencyâs fleet represents a high-value loss that can significantly impact the ability of the company to provide transportation services. Grand theft takes place when it is the intent of the taker to permanently deprive the owner of the use of the vehicle. The conveyance may be re-marked or painted, sold for scrap and parts, or otherwise disposed of. Agencyâs that deploy school buses as a part of their fleet may experience a higher occurrence rate of grand theft of these types of vehicles. But by far, the most prolific and costly occurrence of larceny from bus and rail transit systems alike is the stealing of metals, including copper, mercury, brass, or iron from vehicles, facilities, or rights-of-way. In particular copper, once overlooked by thieves as having little value, has sky- rocketed as a preferred resale metal because of a surge in price on international markets. Nine years ago, copper futures traded at 80 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. By 2006, they were at 4 dollars a pound. They are now trading at about 3 dollars a pound, lower than 7 years ago but still 375% higher than 2003. On its website, the FBI says copper theft is âthreat- ening U.S. critical infrastructure by targeting electrical substations, cellular towers, telephone land lines, railroads, water wells, construction sites, and vacant homes for lucrative profitsâ (FBI 2008). According to a 2011 U.S. Department of Energy report, the theft of copper in the United States has exceeded 1 billion dollars. Transit agencies offering light rail or commuter rail services are more likely targets of copper thieves because of the large amount of unprotected or minimally protected infrastructure that contain the metal. Copper is the metal of choice and is present in right-of-way transit signal systems, overhead contact wires, electrical relay switches, power and transmission lines, and tele- communications links (www.copper.org). In 2012, 1 transit agency reported that approximately 4.2 miles and 70,000 pounds of copper wire had been stolen from within its hollow elevated guideway. The theft was valued at well over $200,000 (Shaner 2012). Large amounts of copper are also present in transportation vehicles. A typical, diesel-electric railroad locomotive uses about 11,000 pounds of copper. More than 16,000 pounds (8 tons) of copper is used in the latest and most-powerful locomotives manufactured by General Electric Company and General Motors Corporation. Electrically powered subway cars, trolleys, and buses use from 625 pounds to 9,200 pounds of copper each, for a weighted average of 2,300 pounds apiece. Copper is an essential component in the motors, wiring, radiators, connectors, brakes, and bearings used in cars and trucks. The average car contains 1.5 kilometers (0.9 mile) of copper wire, and
40 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems the total amount of copper ranges from 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in small cars to 45 kilograms (99 pounds) in luxury and hybrid vehicles (www.copper.org). Transit facilities are also subject to metal theft because copper has been, and continues to be, a main component used in building construction for electrical wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, refrigeration units, and telecommunications links. In particular, unstaffed, unattended, or even abandoned buildings or structures are a likely target for metal thieves who commit break-ins seeking to strip out copper for sales to scrap dealers. Metal theft can have significant secondary impacts on the operation of a public transit system. In California, the state legislature made findings in this regard in the passage of Assembly Bill No. 1971âAn Act to Amend Section 496a of, and to Add Section 594.05 to, the Penal Code, Relating to Theft (California Assembly 2012). SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) The theft of nonferrous materials, such as copper, copper alloys, stainless steel, and aluminum, but excluding beverage containers, is a serious problem in many parts of California. (b) The theft of these metals is having a significant negative effect on many public agencies throughout the state, including public transit providers. (c) Frequently, the cost of repairing or replacing the infrastructure, component, or item from which the metal has been removed greatly exceeds the value of the metal itself. (d) This criminal activity is costing public transit systems millions of dollars annually. (e) These crimes can greatly affect the efficiency of transit providers, causing significant vehicle speed reductions, service disruptions, and delays. (f) The theft of nonferrous materials from public transit systems also poses a significant threat to public safety. (g) The theft of these metals may result in the loss of power to critical elements of the transit system and to related communications, lighting, and other portions of the system. (h) Stolen cable can create dangerous conditions as stray electrical current is conducted through other metals, creating heat in adjacent metals, and damaging the integrity of the system in the area of theft. (i) In addition to the possible dangers posed to employees and the transit-riding public, thieves engaged in these crimes are exposed to serious injury or death through possible electrocution. Vandalism and Graffiti Headlines across the United States continue to confirm that the vandalism of transit vehicles, bus shelters and bus depots is a perpetual problem that is extremely difficult to resolve or over- come. Even with recent advances in construction materials (graffiti resistant) (anti-etch materi- als) losses remain in the millions of dollars with multiple events of vandalism known to occur on systems. These events can sometimes take the form of crime sprees with dozens of vehicles in a depot damaged or subjected to graffiti, or an entire neighborhoodâs transit bus shelters being damaged or destroyed during a single overnight period. Often times vandalism is perpetrated by juveniles acting in concert. In particular graffiti can take this form. The NTD collects information about arrests associated with the vandalism of transit proper- ties categorizing incidents based on location of occurrence. The breakdown includes vandalism of (1) transit vehicles; (2) transit stations; (3) non-revenue facilities; and (4) roadway, right-of- way and parking facilities. The NTD defines vandalism as the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of transit property or vehicles. According to the NTD, it includes âa broad range of injury to property, from deliberate, extensive destruction of property at one extreme to mischie- vous, less extensive damage at the other extreme.â Property damage resulting from these offenses as well as the number of arrests is reported.
Transit Crime and Security Problems 41 Acts of vandalism can include: â¢ Damage to trash receptacles at bus or rail terminals. â¢ Inking, spray paint, or markers. â¢ Scratching, etching, or scribing windows. â¢ âArtworkâ and tagging. â¢ Smashing windows on buses or shelters. â¢ Cutting, severing signal communications lines. â¢ Damage to fare gates. â¢ Disabling fare machines. â¢ Shooting of BBs, pellets, or other projectiles at vehicles. â¢ Destruction of turnstiles. â¢ Cuts, slashes, or tears in vinyl or other seat coverings. â¢ Burns from cigarettes, matches, or lighters. â¢ Splashing caustic chemicals on bus shelters. â¢ Damaging restroom facilities. â¢ Deflating, cutting valve stems or slashing tires. â¢ Spraying fire extinguishers. â¢ Missiling, throwing hard objects at vehicles. â¢ Track switch tampering. The annual costs of vandalism in the United States remains an elusive number based on a lack of aggregate information or statistics. However graffiti cleanup costs alone are significant. A report on the subject published in 2002 by researchers at the U.S. Department of Justice stated, âthere are huge public costs associated with graffiti: an estimated $12 billion a year is spent clean- ing up graffiti in the United States. Graffiti contributes to lost revenue associated with reduced ridership on transit systems, reduced retail sales and declines in property value. In addition, graf- fiti generates the perception of blight and heightens fear of gang activityâ (Lamm Weisel Guide No. 9). In 2006, a survey from a variety of cities across the U.S. suggests that graffiti cleanup alone costs taxpayers about $1â3 per person each year. For smaller communities the amount dedicated to graffiti cleanup annually may be less than $1 per person. All graffiti is not alike, even though the consequences are. The information Table 5.5 was adapted from the National Council to Prevent Delinquency (NCPD). (www.anti-graffiti.org) Graffi Descripon Perpetrator Rate of Occurrence A âtagâ is the graffi vandalâs moniker applied quickly and repevely. Non-Gang 80% A "throw-up" is a more elaborate tag, usually done in 2 or more colors. Vandals oÂen use balloon leÂers, which are filled in or leÂ as outlines. Non-Gang 5% "Pieces," short for "masterpieces," are large, detailed drawings. They are colorful, can include cartoon-like characters, and may take hours or more to complete. Non-Gang 5% Convenonal or generic graffi includes random markings, inials, declaraons of love, social commentary, profanity, and other non-threatening messages. Generic graffi has no parcular style. Non-Gang * Ideological or hate graffi is any racial, religious, or cultural slur. Non-Gang * Gang graffi is used to mark gang territory, list members, offer drugs or contraband for sale, or send warnings to rivals. It may include leÂers, symbols, or numbers known only by gangs and law enforcement. Gang 10% *Breakdown unknown. Table 5.5. Graffiti description.
42 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems Spotlight on Graffiti San Diego, CA â Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) undercover security operations arrested 5 juveniles in the past 2 weeks who are responsible for 277 individual tags covering 3,580 square feet and damage estimated at more than $25,000. According to Paul Jablonski, Chief Executive Officer of MTS, âEach year we have close to $1 million in costs to repair vandalism on our bus and trolley vehicles as well as to our property along our rail lines.â (Press Release March 6, 2012 MTS Website www.sdmts.com) New York, NY â Members of MTA New York City Transitâs Eagle Team joined with members of New Yorkâs Finest to erase a graffiti vandal who had trespassed into a Bronx subway yard shortly after midnight on Monday and spray painted a pair of subway cars as they sat waiting for the morning rush period. Painted vandalism costs the MTA approximately $1 million a year to remove. This is money that could be far better spent elsewhere, and donât forget, graffiti removal keeps trains out of service while they are being cleaned. Additionally, in order to reach the trains, which are often âhitâ in lay-up areas, these vandals put themselves at great risk of serious injury or even death. (Press Release June 27, 2014 MTA Website www.mta.info) Ann Arbor, MI â The Ann Arbor Community Center is without the use of its bus for transporting children in its summer day camp on field trips after a vandal or vandals covered one side of it with graffiti. The Rev. Yolanda Whiten, president and CEO of the Ann Arbor Community Center, said the bus was parked for the long week- end the evening of July 3, but on the morning of July 7, she noticed black, white and some red paint scrawled across one side of the vehicle. The community center had to cancel part of a field trip that day because Whiten and other camp officials did not want the children on the graffiti-covered bus. Whiten estimated that it will cost several thousand dollars to get the paint removed, as volunteers worked scrubbing the paint on the bus and were not able to remove it. (July 10, 2014 www.mlive.com) Gary, IN â Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District police are asking for the publicâs help in iden- tifying 2 suspects who allegedly fired a handgun at glass partitions at the Gary Metro station Monday. At 2 p.m. Monday, security cameras captured images of 2 men wearing winter clothing firing a handgun at glass partitions on the train platform. Another window inside the Adam Benjamin Metro Center was damaged by gunfire as well. Police believe a BB or pellet gun was used in the shootings, which led to $2,000 in damages. (February 21, 2014 www.nwitimes.com) San Francisco, CA â Thousands of baseball fans took to the streets of San Francisco to celebrate the Giantsâ World Series victory, with revelers gathering on corners, in parks and at watering holes â and some turning rowdy. Some violence and vandalism was reported, with revelers setting a public transit bus on fire, flipping over a vehicle and breaking the windows of several businesses and vehicles. (October 29, 2012 Associated Press) Eagan, MN â Passengers who board Minnesota Valley Transit Authority buses at the Eagan Transit Station may be wondering when the restrooms will reopen. âHopefully soon,â said spokeswoman Robin Selvig. The rest- rooms have been locked for a couple of weeks due to vandalism and property damage inside the station at Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road. Selvig said somebody had been putting rocks down the toilet, which led to plumbing problems, and that a homeless person may have been using them for shelter. (August 6, 2014 www.startribune.com)
Transit Crime and Security Problems 43 Fraud Prevention Transit fraud schemes can include (1) bid rigging, (2) price fixing, (3) goods and materials substitution, (4) bribery and kickbacks, (5) false claims, and (6) labor and materials overbilling. Employee participation in such cases is rarely reported. Fraud can result in significant revenue loss, higher costs for goods or services, opportunity costs, overruns, project delays through short- ages, shoddy materials or workmanship, funding shortfalls, and loss of goodwill or public trust. Bid rigging occurs when contractors act in collusion to increase profit. There is a misrepresen- tation that bidders are in competition with one another when, in fact, they have predetermined who will win the bid and at what is often a highly inflated price. Price fixing consists of competi- tors acting in unison to set the prices at which their goods or services are sold. Bribery is the act of giving money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient, where the gift is of a dishonest nature. Bribery is defined by Blackâs Law Dictionary as the âoffering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.â A kickback is money, goods or services paid âunder the tableâ by a con- tractor or subcontractor for referral of business for a contract. False claims are the intentional use of inaccurate records or statements to obtain unearned payments for goods or services ren- dered. And, finally, overbilling fraud consists of contractors charging for work not performed, or submitting inflated invoices for a greater amount of work than what was actually performed. Contractors can also commit overbilling by charging off inventory usage of goods or materials not used on a job or falsifying the amount of materials actually used. Homeland Security Issues The following information describes the major homeland security-/homeland defense-related threats facing public transit systems: ArsonâArson is an intentionally set fire and can destroy transit assets within a facility, cause structural damage to the facility itself along with electrical and mechanical systems failure, and cause injuries or fatalities. Toxic fumes produced by burning fuel, oil, plastics, and some paints are a serious health threat and may cause death. Smoke can reduce visibility, obscuring exit path- ways and making escape more difficult for victims. Fires may be intentional or accidental, and measures for either will be relevant for both types. Arson and explosion-related fires, however, may cause more severe damage because they tend to target or cluster around critical systems and equipment. ExplosivesâAn explosion is an instantaneous or almost instantaneous chemical reaction resulting in a rapid release of energy. The energy is usually released as rapidly expanding gases and heat, which may be in the form of a fireball. The expanding gases compress the surround- ing air creating a shock wave or pressure wave. The pressure wave can cause structural damage while the fireball may ignite other building materials leading to a larger fire. Explosives can cause the destruction of assets within a facility, structural damage to the facility itself, and injuries or fatalities. Explosions may start a fire, which may inflict additional damage and cause additional injuries and fatalities. The type and amount of explosive material used and location of the explo- sion will determine the overall impact of the explosives. WMDsâWMDs are nuclear, radiological, chemical, and/or biological weapons capable of inflicting mass casualties. Radioactive materials and other contaminants in different forms such as powders, liquids, gases, and dirty bombs that are intended to harm large numbers of people are also examples of WMDs. Potential hazards resulting from WMDs include fatalities, negative health effects, and permanent or temporary contamination of a facility. Because many WMD
44 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems materials have little discernible characteristics, symptoms are the first sign of an attack. In addi- tion, some chemical and biological agents will not produce symptoms for hours or days after the attack has occurred. Violent Confrontations/Hostage SituationsâViolent confrontations and hostage situations are common on transit systems throughout the world. These confrontations include assaults and robberies within transit vehicles or at transit facilities, which may result in casualties, property loss and damage, and hostage taking. Easy access, remoteness of the vehicle, and available civil- ians make transit vehicles especially vulnerable to hostage situations. Attackers may use a variety of weapons, including small arms, assault rifles, shoulder-mounted rocket-propelled grenades, knives or other bladed weapons, and small explosives. TamperingâTampering refers to interfering with the property of another person or organi- zation with the intent to cause inconvenience or harm. Malicious tampering can facilitate the accomplishment of the other threat events such as tampering with subway track causing derail- ment. Transit infrastructure may be damaged by a truck, boat, or airplane carrying explosives to induce structural damage and fatalities and injuries to its users. Tampering with electrical systems can cause power loss wreaking havoc on transit operations, especially subway/rail opera- tions, which rely on electrical power. Power LossâLoss of or disturbances to electrical power, locally or regionally, can significantly disrupt transit service and operations by diminished or suspended operations control and sig- nal systems, computer-aided dispatch, and radio systems. Loss of power may be caused by an intentional or unintentional event aimed at the transit system or nearby targets. Power losses can affect not just the transit operations but also those in the surrounding vicinity. Transit Vehicle as a WeaponâTransit vehicles can become weapons as well as targets. For instance, terrorists may steer a transit vehicle into a building or bridge, into transit infrastruc- ture, or may plant explosives in the vehicle while in the storage yard in hopes of detonating it at a later time. A retired transit vehicle may also be an attractive weapon or vehicle for carrying out terrorist operations, due to its familiar and innocuous nature. Network Failure/Cyber AttackâNetwork and cyber attacks can cause major disruptions to transit service and operations. As more and more transit systems deploy intelligent transporta- tion systems (ITS) technologies such as Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and traveler infor- mation, the consequences of even small scale cyber attacks can be serious and cause significant economic or physical damage. There has been more than one case of hackers illegally access- ing a transit agencyâs control center network and altering displays on electronic message signs. Network failure may also be caused by faulty or damaged internal components, or a general computer virus. (Source: Adapted from Rabkin et al. 2004.)