Chicago Transit Crime up 21% Despite Installation of Cameras For $26 Million


Even with $26 million in high-resolution cameras in full force last year, reported crime at Chicago transit rail stations rose 21 percent, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows. Compared with 2010 – well before most of the 3,600 rail station cameras were installed – station crime was up 32 percent. The good news is that while overall crime is up, violent crime is down 30 percent. And when all reported crime is counted, Chicago is close to achieving swift arrests in two of every three station crimes. Some “are committing crimes right up underneath the cameras,” said Alderman Willie Cochran, who advocates more and flashier signs about camera surveillance in stations. “They are bold, and they don't care.” The most common offense – deceptive practice, often involving turnstile-jumping or other forms of fare evasion – soared 41 percent. The number two crime of theft rose 27 percent, something police tie to cell phone thefts.

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