The National Academies

TCRP F-06A [Completed]

Developing Useful Transit-Related Crime and Incident Data

  Project Data
Funds: $ 150,000
Research Agency: Technology&Management Systems, Inc.
Principal Investigator: H. Norman Ketola
Effective Date: 4/1/1998
Completion Date: 5/15/2000

Transit agencies have an obligation to provide a reasonably safe and secure system for their patrons and employees. An issue facing general managers, transit police chiefs, and security directors is how best to use police, security personnel, and other resources to reduce crime and increase the perception of a safe transportation system. To combat transit-related crime, transit professionals need accurate, useful information about a range of crime-related events. However, such data are currently unavailable to most transit systems. Indeed, no standard definition of "transit-related crime" exists.

This problem is the result of (1) collection of the wrong kinds of data, (2) incomplete coordination of information between local law enforcement and transit agencies, and (3) the inability to use existing data to assist in effective deployment of security forces. The purpose of this project was to develop an operational definition of "transit-related crime" and to test a method for capturing, processing, reporting, and disseminating useful transit-related crime and incident data.

For example, transit and law enforcement agencies presently focus on collecting data using the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting System (UCR), which uses standardized offense definitions. While UCR data are of value, they are limited to serious incidents of reported crime, thereby excluding calls for service that do not result in criminal charges; for example, "quality-of-life" violations that affect public perceptions of the overall security of the transit system.

This research provides an operational definition of "transit-related crime" and describes a method for capturing, processing, and reporting transit-related crime and incident data.

STATUS: Appendix D of the final report was published as TCRP Research Results Digest 41, "Guidelines for Collecting, Analyzing, and Reporting Transit Crime Data." The rest of the final report was published as a TCRP Web Document 18. TCRP RRD 41 is also available in portable document format (PDF). Click on the links below to access the documents. (A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.)

TCRP Research Results Digest 41

TCRP Web Document 18

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