Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Etched deeply into the consciousness of Americans is that public transit and stations are somehow very unsafe. Incidents happen like that happen anywhere, but, you know, not all that often in generally well-lighted areas with security cameras everywhere. They aren't, for the most part, prime crime opportunity locations. But people "feel" unsafe because the New York Subway of the late 70s and early 80s is, decades later, still seen as the epitome of Scary Places With Filled Scary Black People (I have no if the subway was particularly unsafe then, either, but it was dirty and gross and falling apart and there were some high profile incidents).
Light-rail riders concerned about their safety when using the system will soon see a boost in police presence across Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe.


Statistics tracked by contracted security of Valley Metro, the regional agency that coordinates the system, show a few dozen property crimes and crimes against people in the most recent fiscal quarter along the line, which has averaged about 1.4 million boardings each month this year. Crimes against persons were less than half of what they were the previous quarter.

The system, though, logged more than 2,500 incidents related to trespassing or open-container violations, including at park-and-ride locations. The nearly 30 percent increase over earlier this fiscal year reflects more thorough recording of people who are at the stations without using it for transit, according to agency security staff.

I'm not even sure what constitutes a trespassing violating, and open-container violations are just silly. Property crimes are annoying, but it's really only "crimes against people" that make a place "unsafe."