Crime on Metro's buses and trains

As many of you have likely heard, two people were stabbed in an altercation shortly after 4:30 a.m. today on the mezzanine level of the Red Line subway’s Hollywood/Western station. One victim has been treated and released and the other is expected to be released shortly. The suspect remains at large.

As a result of the incident and ongoing investigation, the station remained closed until shortly after 8 a.m. this morning — disrupting the morning commute for many. Metro apologizes for any inconvenience and hopes the public understands the need for a thorough investigation.

There have been two other stabbings in recent months on Metro trains. None of the incidents are related and I want to emphasize a few points:

•Serious crime on Metro trains and buses is currently down five percent over this time last year.

•On Sept. 21, we posted — for the first time — crime statistics on Metro’s buses and trains. As we reported at the time: “The good news: crime is very low on the Metro system — certainly lower than in many surrounding communities. Over the past five years, the number of the most serious crimes has gone down and the number of arrests and citations issued is up.”

•There have been well over 440 million boardings on Metro buses and trains in the past year. The system — like other transit systems in the world — is unfortunately not crime-free.

•The Metro Board of Directors last week renewed the agency’s contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to patrol Metro buses and trains. The contract includes enough money to add 105 personnel to help patrol Metro.

In the view of some, the three stabbings will make for a trend. I do not agree — the data in recent years suggests that what has happened recently is an aberration and an unfortunate one at that. Metro will continue to try to improve security and vigorously patrol the system.

4 thoughts on “Crime on Metro's buses and trains

  1. We should definitely hurry up locking up those gates. Gates alone won’t deter crime at Metro stations, but it adds an extra layer of security that criminals have to deal with.

    We shouldn’t waste the contract of the Sheriff officers to be focused on catching fare evaders anyway. Let the gates handle the fare checks so that the officers can focus on more serious crimes like these. That’ll be two layers of “thick” security which is a lot better than one “thin” layered security.

    And we really should promote more business activity at stations. Businesses adds more eyes to the the area which adds a third layer of security for criminals to deal with.

    If you understand why stabbings don’t occur at airport terminals, it’s because they have security in layers; TSA officers, officers in uniform, and even the businesses that operate in the terminals themselves are part of security against criminal activity.

  2. We should definitely hurry up locking up those gates. Gates alone won’t deter crime at Metro stations, but it adds an extra layer of security that criminals have to deal with.
    Because people with knives can’t afford a ticket to get through the gates?

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  4. Frank, the incident happened on the MEZZANINE LEVEL of the Hollywood/Western station. Based on photos in the various coverage it appears to have happened by the Ticket Machines. Locked turnstiles would have done nothing except to have limited the escape routes the victims had to get away from the perp and/or go and get assistance. $20- to $30-million per annum will staff these stations; which bus routes will we cut to find that money?

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