Serious Crime Reports Increase After Metro Policing Changes - NBC Southern California

Serious Crime Reports Increase After Metro Policing Changes

While the overall number of crime reports decreased slightly, the number of more serious or violent crimes has increased.

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    FILE - LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 3: Passengers wait for Metro Rail subway trains during rush hour June 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Skyrocketing gas prices are driving more commuters to take trains and buses to work instead of their cars. In the first three months of 2008, the number of trips taken on public transport in the US rose 3 percent to 2.6 billion, creating pressures on some transportation systems to cope with increasing ridership. Transit officials in southern California and elsewhere are now encouraging employers to stagger employee schedules to ease the rush hour crunch on trains and buses and Metrolink plans to add 107 rail cars to its fleet of 155 as soon as next year. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    A heavier police presence on the Metro transit system has produced mixed crime reports.

    While the overall number of crime reports decreased slightly, the number of more serious or violent crimes has increased, reports NBC4 media partner KPCC. The statistics are derived from Metro's monthly crime reports.

    In July 2017, Metro switched from having the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department police its buses, trains and stations, to also adding the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments to the list as part of a $650 million, 5-year, multi-agency deal.

    Metro officials billed the change as a way of increasing safety by adding officers. Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said the agency has seen customer perceptions of safety improve in customer surveys.

    From July to December of last year, total crimes reported decreased slightly from 2016, but Part 1 crimes - including offenses like homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault - increased during several months.

    "It is counterintuitive," Sotero said. "When you have an increased law enforcement presence, you would expect some of these numbers to be going down but because of the increased presence, we are able to respond in real time to these incidents and get reports."

    Read more at KPCC.

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