Why isn't there more crime on the Washington DC Area Metro?

Noting that the Metro seems very safe, and nobody ever seems to ‘jump’ the ticket gates without paying, I wonder why the metro is so safe when D.C. has a fairly high crime rate overall?

At least I would expect more people to not pay the fare and walk through those little gates when someone else pays for them (do it quickly it might be possible). But not even that

Why is it so safe? Do the Metro police have massive plainclothes officers present? I’ve never seen any arrest or intervention, and only rarely see a uniformed metro officer.

Also, anyone know what happened to those “Newspaper” vending machines they still have in the metro stations, but are now all boarded up?

Probably for one thing because it’s the “DC Area” metro. It goes everywhere at all times of day and crime is usually confined to certain areas and times. A big enough system is going to able to concentrate resources on trouble spots, especially when flow is as controlled as it is in a mass transit system. Anyway, it’s not like the world they show on the TV. “Law and Order” may be ripped from the headlines, but stuff on the subway is usually listed in the classifieds.

There are cameras and security, plus there’s a Station Manager usually present. You might not have seen them, but they do exist.

Crime has been a problem in some Metro parking lots, though.

My cynical response re: more people not jumping the turnstiles is that Metro isn’t convenient enough for crooks to use it. :smiley:

The newspaper vending and some of the trash cans got taken out of service after 9/11 for security reasons.

The Washington area doesn’t have that all-fired high a crime rate. It’s about what you’d expect for a big city and its suburbs. Even if you restrict it to just D.C., it’s not that high. Have you ever bothered to look up the crime rate instead of just going by rumor? Have you ever visited D.C.? The areas that tourists visit are actually quite safe. Since tourists ride the Metro, it’s safe. The only areas that are unsafe are a few neighborhoods in northeast and southeast D.C., and the danger is to the residents there, not to tourists, who don’t go to those neighborhoods. Crime is about drugs and gang violence, not about tourists.

In the 1970s, when crime in DC was exploding and the Metro was opening, there was a well-publicized case of a young girl who was detained for eating frenh fries on a train.

This was criticized a bit - but it sent a very clear message about what the transit police would allow, which wasn’t much. As a result, the Metro has remained safe.

Keep in mind there are a patchwork of police agencies in place in Washington, DC. The transit police are one of these, and they are pretty good.

That arrest for eating French fries was in 2000, not in the 1970’s.

Also, crime was highest in D.C. in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, not in the 1970’s. It was during the time of the crack epidemic.

I disagree that you don’t see things like turnstile jumpers. I challenge you to ride on the green line north from Gallery Place up to Greenbelt and you’ll see plenty of casual rule breaking, at least when the punk kids are out of school.

Wasn’t it Fawn Hall who was arrested for eating in the DC metro?

I was in Brussels recently and the metro there has no gates or turnstyles, just a red line painted on the floor. You are expected to have a ticket beyond the red line. I was buying tickets every time but I did not know you also had to cancel them so, in fact, I was traveling without a valid ticket all the time.

Yes, Fawn Hall was ticketed for eating French fries, but she wasn’t young at the time. The young girl arrested for eating French fries was someone else.

The barriers at the faregate will swing closed quickly. If you try to sneak through behind someone else, you’re risking a hard pinch right to the crotch. :eek:

Also, the trains don’t necessarily run that frequently. You might jump over a gate and run down to the platform, only to stand around for 12 minutes (while the Station Manager calls the cops).

Note, too, that you would have to jump the gate at the end to get out, also.

I have had my car vandalized at a Metro parking lot, and clearly there is some urination in the elevators.