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Metro Transit Crime Down But Tops Other Cities

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro says serious crime has declined on the Washington-area transit system from 2010, but its crime rate was still higher last year than at five other major transit agencies.

Metro released a five-year crime report Wednesday. It listed 1,898 serious crimes last year, the majority of them thefts of some kind. Last year’s figure was a decline from a six-year high of 2,270 crimes in 2010.

There was a five-year low in 2011 for crimes on buses and in parking lots and for motor vehicle thefts, according to the report.

The Washington Examiner reports Metro’s crime rate is still higher than that in statistics from transit agencies in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Metro had 5.52 crimes per million riders, while New York’s vast subway system had 1.55 crimes per million trips.

But Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says it’s nearly impossible to draw clear comparisons without knowing how each transit agency reports crime.

Some agencies, like New York City, don’t have parking facilities to patrol, while many of Metro’s serious crimes are related to parking lots, Stessel said. Some transit agencies, including New York and Los Angeles, don’t have their own police departments, so that can affect how crimes are reported and counted, for example, if a crime happens on a sidewalk near a subway station, he said.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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