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Long Island

MTA report: Crime on LIRR falls 15 percent from 2009

Commuters return home after a day's work, Wednesday,

Commuters return home after a day's work, Wednesday, on the LIRR in Merrick. (Nov. 3, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday / Sally Morrow

Crime on the Long Island Rail Road has fallen 15 percent compared with last year, according to statistics the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is scheduled to release Monday.

There were 121 major felonies on the LIRR between January and October of 2010, an MTA report states. The number of crimes was 143 during the same period of 2009, the report states.

The drop in crime corresponds with a dip in riders on the LIRR, but MTA officials were hesitant to pin the decline in crime on a lack of ridership. The LIRR had 61.2 million riders between January and September 2010, down 1.7 percent from 62.3 million riders for the same period in 2009, said spokesman Salvatore Arena.

Arena said the total number of crimes is so low that it is difficult to pin the drop in felonies to any one factor. "The incidence of crime, given the tremendous number of people that we service, is virtually nonexistent," Arena said. "It's a very safe system . . . [because] the MTA and the MTA police put such an emphasis on security."

In contrast, crimes on Metro-North Commuter Railroad increased during the same period, with 127 felonies from January to October 2010, up 40 percent from 91 in the same period in 2009, the MTA report says.

The report states that the LIRR saw a slight uptick in major felonies during the month of October - 19 in 2010, up from 15 in 2009 - despite the overall decline.

The crime statistics will be released at 8:30 a.m. Monday at an MTA meeting at 347 Madison Ave. in Manhattan.

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