WASHINGTON — Metrorail is safer now compared with previous years, according to year-end crime totals expected to be made public in a few weeks.
Looking at what the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority calls “Part 1 Crimes” — such as assault, larceny and robbery — 2015 was the second-lowest year for serious crime on Metrorail since 2008.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel tells WTOP, “2014 and 2015 were both significantly lower than what we’ve seen in past years.”
Comprehensive crime reports are presented to the WMATA Board’s Safety Committee at least quarterly.
The following are year-end totals for WMATA Part 1 Crimes:
- 2015: 1,640
- 2014: 1,557
- 2013: 2,128
- 2012: 1,984
- 2011: 1,898
- 2010: 2,270
- 2009: 2,032
- 2008: 1,821
- 2007: 1,580
“Any crime is one crime too many on Metro,” Stessel said. “Everyone should be able to ride Metro safely and not have to worry about being the victim of a crime. That is our goal.”
Some people do worry about their safety, however. In at least three cases since last November, groups of teenagers have assaulted Metro riders, sometimes leaving them with serious injuries.
Most recently, three people were injured by a group of young people on a Metro Center platform Jan. 2. Stessel said that case — under “active” investigation — includes reviews of surveillance camera footage, victim and witness statements and other investigative tactics.
On Nov. 22, on a Green Line train, a couple trying to stop an assault and robbery on a teenager by two teen girls was attacked and left with serious injuries.
On Dec. 21, a man was left with a concussion and broken jaw after being attacked by six teenagers on the Red Line.
“We are following a number of good leads on that and I expect we’ll have closure on that in very short order,” Stessel says of anticipated arrests in the cases from late 2015.
Meanwhile, Metro Transit Police encourage you to text them at “Mymtpd” (696873) if you see:
- Juvenile disorder
- Unattended items
- Suspicious activity
Stessel says riders sending transit police a text message will get an immediate response.
“It’s an actual live operator at Metro Transit Police communications who can dispatch officers and so forth,” Stessel said. “You can carry on a conversation with them.”
For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.