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Crime On The Rail System

NCJ Number
R Jochelson
Date Published
38 pages
This report describes the theft, assault, sexual assault, and robbery offenses reported as occurring on trains or in railroad stations in New South Wales, Australia between January 1990 and December 1992.
The data were analyzed in conjunction with rail usage data supplied by the State Rail Authority. Results revealed 4,712 recorded offenses. Assault accounted for 49.4 percent of the offenses; robbery, 23.3 percent; thefts from persons, 22.2 percent; and sexual offenses, 5.1 percent. Eighty-six percent of the assaults were nonaggravated assaults. The number of offenses was relatively small in comparison to the average of 914,769 passenger journeys on each weekday, 381,299 each Saturday, and 249,967 each Sunday. The victimization risk tended to be greatest during the early morning hours (from 1 to 6 a.m.) on weekends, followed by late evening hours on weekends, late evenings on weekdays, and early mornings on weekdays. Situational crime prevention strategies and increased law enforcement targeted at rail facilities may reduce railroad crime but displace the crime to surrounding areas. Therefore, social crime prevention strategies that increase the incentives for an offender to become a law-abiding citizen should be combined with situational crime prevention measures. Figures, tables, notes, and 14 references