Serious crime on the MBTA has plummeted to a 30-year low, a trend transit police credit to key community partnerships, greater communication with other police agencies and enhanced technology.

 

In 1980, there were 3,034 serious crimes on the T. But last year, only 827 were reported. Transit police say those crimes — which include larceny, robbery, aggravated assault, arson and rape — also dropped 21 percent between 2008 (1,052) and 2009.

 

Last year, the T targeted several crimes such as fare evasion and groping with public awareness campaigns and undercover officers. As a result, transit police dished out 2,864 fare evasion citations, more than double the number issued in 2008. Meanwhile, arrests have also been made in 38 percent of indecent assaults.

 

Police also passed out pamphlets telling riders to be wary of property thefts, which represent the largest chunk of serious crimes and one-third of which involve electronic devices such as iPods, iPhones and Sidekicks, MacMillan said. Last year, those larcenies fell 26 percent from 2008.

 

MacMillan said better coordination with local police and installing more cameras in buses and transit stations have helped reduce crime, as well.