With overall crime on the T down over the last year, the MBTA has launched a new awareness campaign alerting riders that undercover transit cops are scattered throughout the system and encouraging them to be vigilant about reporting crime.

 

Plainclothes officers have long been present in T stations, trains and buses, but the MBTA claims progress in several targeted efforts. In the past 18 months, transit police have made 40 percent more arrests for indecent assault and battery. Meanwhile, the number of fare evasion citations issued this year is on pace to double last year’s total of 1,376.

 

T officials credit their undercover officers for spotting a wide array of crimes, such as last week when a transit police sergeant in Hyde Park caught a 14-year-old etching his graffiti “tag” into a Route 32 bus window.

 

“The car cards will give notice to passengers that there are people out there looking out for their welfare,” said MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan.

The campaign comes as the T reports overall crime has dropped 25 percent through September this year compared to last year. Reports of violent crime (mostly aggravated assaults and robberies) fell 19 percent in that time span, from 226 incidents to 184 this year, according to MBTA figures.