PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL
SALVADOR
BACKGROUND PAPER 3:
Public transport crime: A review of the international...
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL
SALVADOR
BACKGROUND PAPER 3:
Public transport crime: A review of the international...
CONTENT
1.INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE REVIEW.....................................................................1
2. TH...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
1. INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE REVIEW
Public transport is essential t...
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3. The opportunity structure can be usefully studied only by focusing o...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
3. METHODOLOGY FOR IDENTIFYING STUDIES ON
MASS TRANSPORT/PUBLIC TRANSPO...
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
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Table 1: Literature Dealing with Bus-related Crime
TOPIC LITERATURE
Bus...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
4. SUMMARY OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW´S
FINDINGS RELEVANT TO EL SALVADOR
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dark and walking home after dark, with about 60% of women and 20% of me...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
4.2 Findings for bus crime
The review’s findings on bus-related crime a...
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c. Reduce informal pick-up and drop-off points –except at night in plac...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
6. REFERENCES
Allan, D., & Volinski, J. (2001). Cops, cameras, and encl...
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Crime Concern (2004). People’s perceptions of personal security and th...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
Hart, T.C., & Miethe, T.D. (2014). Street robbery and public bus stops...
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__________________(1986a). Bus crime in Los Angeles: Measuring the inc...
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR
Newton, A.,& Bowers, K. (2007). The geography of bus shelter damage: T...
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Tirachini, A., Hensher, D. A. , & Rose, J. M. (2013). Crowding in publ...
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 3
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 3
PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 3
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PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 3

Public transport is essential to the vitality and economic well-being of today’s world. It many countries it provides the principal means for both rich and poor to travel to work, for recreation, for shopping and for gaining access to the many services and facilities of everyday life. To serve this purpose it consists of an enormously complex environment of (1) trains, subways, buses and trams and their operators, (2) an infrastructure of the routes that these vehicles travel, including stations and stops, and (3) an administrative apparatus that includes, fare and revenue collection, repair facilities, security and safety matters, hiring and firing of staff and so forth.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
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Transcripts - PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 3

  • 1. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 3: Public transport crime: A review of the international literature
  • 2. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR BACKGROUND PAPER 3: Public transport crime: A review of the international literature June 2015 SolucionES Project Cooperation Agreement No. AID-519-A-12-00003 Document prepared by: Mangai Natarajan (Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York) Ronald Clarke (Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) DISCLAIMER This publication was possible thanks to the support of the people of the United States of America through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The views and opinions expressed in this document are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USAID or the Government of the United States.
  • 3. CONTENT 1.INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE REVIEW.....................................................................1 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND .............................................................................................1 3. METHODOLOGY FOR IDENTIFYING STUDIES ON MASS TRANSPORT/PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME .....................................................................................................................................3 4. SUMMARY OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW´S FINDINGS RELEVANT TO EL SALVADOR ........5 4.1 Findings for all modes of public transport....................................................................5 4.2 Findings for bus crime...................................................................................................7 5. CONCLUSIONS.....................................................................................................................8 6. REFERENCES........................................................................................................................9
  • 4. 1 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 1. INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE REVIEW Public transport is essential to the vitality and economic well-being of today’s world. It many countries it provides the principal means for both rich and poor to travel to work, for recreation, for shopping and for gaining access to the many services and facilities of everyday life. To serve this purpose it consists of an enormously complex environment of (1) trains, subways, buses and trams and their operators, (2) an infrastructure of the routes that these vehicles travel, including stations and stops, and (3) an administrative apparatus that includes, fare and revenue collection, repair facilities, security and safety matters, hiring and firing of staff and so forth. Almost all common forms of crime occur in public transport systems, even though they might manifest themselves in specific forms dictated by the environment of public transport. A considerable body of research has been conducted on crime in public transport. This paper reviews those studies within the context of El Salvador’s public bus system. Commissioned by FUSADES, the review is intended to identify effective crime prevention measures reported in the international literature which might provide practical preventive suggestions for dealing with bus-related crimes in El Salvador. Because this literature review is tightly focused on specific purpose, it is called a focused review. The review’s components consist of the following sections: 1. Theoretical Background 2. Methodology for Identifying Studies of Public Transport Crime 3. Summary of the Literature Review’s Findings of Relevance to El Salvador 4. Conclusions 5. Bibliography of the Bus Crime Literature 6. Appendix: Information Needed by the Consultants on the Bus System in El Salvador 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND This review is guided by a broad framework of crime opportunity theory: routine activities theory, crime pattern theory, the rational choice perspective and situational crime prevention (together with Designing out Crime and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design or CPTED, broken windows and problem oriented policing). Several well-supported assumptions underpin this approach: 1. People are situated decision makers. They decide to commit crimes in order to bring themselves some benefit, not just financial but also for a wide range of other motives -- sexual pleasure, revenge, prestige, dominance, respect, etc. 2. Their criminal decisions can be influenced by changing the situational contexts in which these decisions are made – not just the immediate contexts but the broader opportunity structure of the social and physical environment that makes the crime possible.
  • 5. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 2 3. The opportunity structure can be usefully studied only by focusing on very specific kinds of crime – for example mugging would be too broad, even mugging on the bus transport system would be too broad but mugging inside the bus would probably be sufficiently crime- specific. 4. To understand the opportunity structure for any specific kind of crime, it is necessary to examine: a. when and where those crimes occur, in the expectation that the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) will define where crime is most concentrated in the system, e.g. particular bus stops and terminals, or particular bus routes b. the modus operandi or crime script – how the crime is committed, step-by-step, who are the offenders, targets or victims, and the facilitating conditions at each step in the process. 5. The above analyses will reveal a series of pinch points where preventive effort might economically be focused. This crime specific, problem solving preventive approach has proved to be much more useful in preventive –oriented studies than the traditional criminological approach that focuses almost exclusively on the so-called root causes of offender motivation. 6. This preventive effort can take one of five main forms: increase the difficulties of crime, increase its risks, reduce its rewards, remove provocations and temptations and remove excuses for crime. Advantages of the focus on crime opportunity theory We have chosen to view transit crime through the lens of crime opportunity theory because the various approaches that fall under this umbrella term focus on the immediate situational causes of crime. They do not cover the predisposing factors in crime arising from the psychological and sociological backgrounds of the offenders, or the current conditions of society – poverty, discrimination, corruption – all of which are commonly thought to fuel crime. The main advantage of focusing on situational causes is that, while the authorities responsible for the bus system in El Salvador have almost no scope for altering predisposing factors, they can powerfully influence the situational factors that promote crime. These factors are also much easier to alter than predisposing factors, and the changes made, unlike those made to alter predispositions, can achieve immediate results. These points can be illustrated by a concrete example. It has been established that bus routes that serve impoverished parts of a city are generally at higher risk of crime than those that do not. This might suggest that crime on buses would be reduced by societal change, such as reducing unemployment and poverty, but achieving these social changes is well beyond the capacity of those running the bus system. What they can do instead, however, is to introduce additional security for the buses and bus stops in the high crime areas through situational, opportunity- reducing measures. The literature confirms this.
  • 6. 3 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 3. METHODOLOGY FOR IDENTIFYING STUDIES ON MASS TRANSPORT/PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME1 We focused on crime related to trains, subways, trams, jitneys and, especially, buses. Not included in this review were crimes related to taxis or to airline travel. We gathered information from two main sources: 1. Academic literature published as books and journal articles was identified using John Jay’s library system which contains multiple reference data sets including EBSCO, Criminal Justice Abstracts, NCJRS and Google Scholar 2. Gray literature, a valid source of information that is not commercially published and is typically composed of technical reports, working papers, government and agency reports, and conference proceedings. This literature was identified through the gray literature collection held by the Don M. Gottfredson Library of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. We identified about 400 studies, 260 in the academic literature and 141 in the gray literature. Nearly all the studies were published within the past 40 years, which means that the literature on transport crime is relatively recent. Nearly all the studies were undertaken in Western and developed countries. Most of the literature is concerned with describing and explaining transport crime; few studies deal directly with prevention of crime. A large majority of the studies focused on trains and subways, with only 40 studies focused on bus crimes. Another 20 articles and reports that focused on public transport crime prevention included some mention of crime in buses. These 60 studies are itemized in Table 1 and listed in the bibliography. However it must be said that the findings of the 60 studies may have only limited relevance to El Salvador because of the very different contexts of bus transportation in Western countries, where most of the studies were undertaken, and of the bus system in El Salvador. 1 Mass transit (the term used in the U.S.) and public transport (the term used in other countries) have the same meanings throughout this paper.
  • 7. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 4 Table 1: Literature Dealing with Bus-related Crime TOPIC LITERATURE Buses Stunrian,1980; Patterson, 1985; Levine and Wachs, 1985, 1986a and 1986b; Henderson, 1992; Armstrong-Wright, 1993; Ingalls et al,1994; Newton, 2004; Paes-Machado & Levenstein, 2004; Newton, 2005; Palmer et al, 2005; Kirchhoff et.al., 2007; Chockalingam and Vijaya, 2008; Loukaitou- Sideris and Fink, 2009; Natarajan, 2010; Vilalta, 2011; Sham et al, 2012; Tirachini et al., 2013; Juan et.al. 2013; Neupane and Chesney-Lind, 2014 Bus stops/shelters/terminals Levine et al., 1986; Ingalls et al., 1994; Williams 1996; Felson, et al,1996; Loukaitou-Sideris,1999; Liggett et al., 2001; Loukaitou-Sideris et al.,2001; Newton, 2005, Newton and Bowers, 2007; Yu, 2009; Natarajan, 2010; Koo 2013; Hart and Miethe, 2014 Bus routes Newton, 2005; Newtonet al., 2004; Ferrell et al 2012 Prevention of crime on public transport (including buses) Atkins, 1989; Van Andel, 1989; Easteal and Wilson, 1991; Henderson, 1992; DeGeneste and Sullivan,1994; Boyl, 1994; Hargadine, 1995; Clarke, 1996; Ingram, 1998; Department of the Environment, Transport, and the Regions (DETR), 2000; Root et al., 2000; Smith and Clarke, 2000; Lusk, 2001; Baker and Bewick, 2001; Allan and Volinski, 2001; Page et al , 2001; Clark and Crous, 2002; Jones et al. 2003; Stafford, 2003; Friedman, 2003; Balog et al., 2003; Easton and Smith, 2003. Crime Concern, 2004; Smith and Cornish, 2006; Hess, 2006; Burrell, 2007; Laurence, 2007; Kennedy, 2008; Smith, 2008; Desai et al., 2009; Tompson et al., 2009; Countermeasures Assessment and Security Experts, 2007; Moore, 2010; Department for Transport (DfT), 2010; Markovich and Lucas, 2011; Delbosc and Currie, 2012; Goodwill et al, 2012. Department of Transport, 2012. Jenkins and Trella, 2012.
  • 8. 5 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 4. SUMMARY OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW´S FINDINGS RELEVANT TO EL SALVADOR Below we summarize the relevant findings of the literature review. The summary is in two parts. First, we summarize the general findings of review of crime relating to all modes of public transport, including buses. Second, we summarize the findings for preventing bus crime specifically. 4.1 Findings for all modes of public transport This summary covers background issues, the main findings about crime, emerging issues for the future and, finally the most important conclusions. Background:  Public transport is vulnerable to all the commonplace crimes of everyday life, though these will take specific forms dependent on the transit context.  There is growing concern about the security of public transport in South and Central American countries, but only very few studies or reports (for Chile, Brazil and Mexico) have been released on public transport crime in the region.  International studies, mostly undertaken in developed countries, date back three or four decades. They provide much information about the nature and types of crime problems related to public transport and about the prevention of these crimes.  Public transport crimes can be classified in various ways. One way is by the mode of transport involved – buses, trains, subways, jitneys, buses etc. A second way frequently used way is by the targets of crime: crimes against the system (e.g. vandalism /graffiti theft of fares collected and now terrorism), crimes against staff (e.g. assaults on drivers or conductors) and crimes against passengers (e.g. robberies, assaults, sexual harassment of women).  Preventive measures will also differ importantly among the modes of transportation  Each of these environments requires study in its own right. Preventive measures will differ among these environments and among each specific crime identified within the classifications. Crime:  The travelling public experiences less crime on public transit than in most other public contexts.  Any informality in a transport system invites crime (for example, staff without uniforms, and “trust” systems for fare collection).  Fear of crime is a major concern among passengers even when studies show relatively low levels of crime on public transport. Passengers most fear waiting at the stop/station after
  • 9. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 6 dark and walking home after dark, with about 60% of women and 20% of men feeling unsafe at these stages.  Few passenger and staff are present during off-peak times and, consequently, it is easier for criminals to waylay victims and commit robberies or sexual assaults. During rush hours, on the other hand, passengers might be so crowded that they have difficulty in protecting their persons or their property.  In general, hot spots of crime on public transport reflect crime in the immediately surrounding community  Evidence-based research is needed for developing appropriate and suitable measures within the constraints of the local social and economic conditions.  A safe and secure transport system crime requires: Appropriate policing; Careful design of facilities and vehicles; and, Active and attentive management.  Dealing with transport crimes often requires a strong partnership among national government departments, transport authorities, municipalities, the private sector and commuters. Emerging issues:  Increasing interest is being shown in “the whole journey approach”. This includes walking to and from the bus/train stops (origin and destination points), as well as waiting for the bus or train and while on the bus or train. This is because surveys have shown that fear is often greatest during the walk to and from stations or stops. Research has also found a higher risk of crime near stops or stations.  It is increasingly recognized that more should be done specifically to address the fears of the elderly and the particular fears of women about being victims of violence and sexual crimes.  In the wake of increasing terrorist attacks on public transport, the recent transit literature is carrying more articles on preventing terrorism not merely conventional crimes. This trend seems likely to continue. Conclusions:  It is possible to reduce crime on public transport (sometimes dramatically), with clearly focused interventions.  When public transport is a magnet for criminals, measures taken to improve the security of the system can reduce crime more broadly in surrounding areas, not just on the system.  A dedicated transport police service often has considerable advantages compared policing by local police forces.
  • 10. 7 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 4.2 Findings for bus crime The review’s findings on bus-related crime are much more specific than those regarding public transit as a whole. This is because many concrete suggestions were made in the literature about specific ways to reduce crime on buses and at bus stops. Unfortunately, very few of the suggested measures have been evaluated, but they are consistent with opportunity-reduction principles, and many of them could play an important part in reducing bus crime in El Salvador. We present these findings in the form of measures advocated in the bus crime literature: For Stops and Terminals:  Install an electronic system to provide real-time information about wait times for passengers at bus stops  Install CCTV where possible at bus stops and in terminals. The cameras need to be well- advertised and well protected against vandalism.  Improve lighting at bus stops and terminals and on pathways to bus stops  Install new-style bus shelters (clear safety glass, brightly lit)  Remove posters on windows bus shelters to increase natural surveillance  Trim bushes/trees near bus stops to increase visibility  Tickets to be purchased in advance/ or introduce no-change fare system and install drop- safes on buses  Do not permit loiterers at bus stops  Emergency phones at bus stops For Buses:  Prohibit overcrowding of buses  Increase the numbers of buses at busy periods to reduce overcrowding  “Female-only” buses on bus routes  Supply bus drivers with emergency phones  One-way onto the bus, past the driver  Forbid talking to driver when bus is moving  Install CCTV at entrance to the bus and for the driver to watch passengers  Prohibit playing of loud music on bus  Appoint conductors or security guards to accompany drivers on late-night routes with frequent unscheduled stops  Train all drivers in conflict avoidance techniques For the Bus System: 1. Give the appearance of a formal, unified system: a. Require staff to wear standard uniforms with tags giving their staff numbers b. Require buses and bus stop shelters to be painted in standard colors with the system logo
  • 11. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 8 c. Reduce informal pick-up and drop-off points –except at night in places where there is a high risk of crime d. Post signs throughout with prohibited behaviors 2. Employ and train a dedicated transport police force 3. Establish a “Planning Unit”, either within the bus system’s headquarters or in a University, with four main responsibilities: a. Conduct annual victim surveys of passengers (and possibly also transit staff) to determine if they have been criminally victimized on the transit system. A victim survey has many advantages over a record of crimes reported to the authorities, especially in a transport environment. b. Continuously assess the likely value of new crime prevention measures to reduce bus-related crimes c. Formulate an implementation plan each year for reducing bus crime, which specifies which measures will be implemented and when this will happen. d. Publish an annual report with the results of the victim surveys and a detailed list of crime reduction actions taken during the past year and those scheduled for the forthcoming year. 5. CONCLUSIONS Though we presently lack information about El Salvador’s bus system, this review of the international literature indicates to us that crime on the system could be substantially reduced. Furthermore, a reduction in bus crimes could benefit the country as whole through a “diffusion of benefits” because the bus system appears to be magnet and possibly a training ground for criminals. While this review of the international literature has identified many possible ways to reduce bus- related crime in El Salvador, it must be remembered that what works elsewhere might not work in El Salvador without intelligent application. This suggests the urgent need to establish a “Planning Unit” to guide and evaluate the implementation of new crime prevention measures. This Unit should also be given the important responsibility to conduct and publish the results of annual victim surveys of passengers and perhaps also staff. The absence of hard information about victimization and its consequences will severely constrain crime prevention efforts. In conclusion, we should note that quick but small improvements in security might easily be made with limited expenditure. However, any substantial improvement in the security of the bus service could take many years to achieve and cost many millions of dollars. Above all, it would take a sustained determination by the relevant authorities in El Salvador to improve the security of the country’s transit system.
  • 12. 9 PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 6. REFERENCES Allan, D., & Volinski, J. (2001). Cops, cameras, and enclosures: a synthesis of the effectiveness of methods to provide enhanced security for bus operators. Tampa, FL: National Center for Transit Research, University of South Florida. Armstrong-Wright, A. (1993). Public transport in third world cities. Transport Research Laboratory, Department of Transport. State of the Art Review10. London: HJVL Stationery Office. Atkins, S.T. (1989). Critical paths: Designing for secure travel. London: Design Council. Baker, J.,& Bewick, I. (2001). Personal security on public transport final report prepared for Mersey travel. Bristol, UK: Transport and Travel Research Ltd. Balog, J., Devost, M.,& Sullivan, J. (2003). Public transportation security: volume 1: community of threats: a guide. tcrp report 86. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, National Research Council. Boyle, D. K. (1994). Jitney enforcement strategies in New York City. Transportation Research Record, 1433,177-84. Burrell, A. (2007). Violence on and around public transport, London: UCL Jill Dando Institute, University College London. Ceccato, V. (2014). Safety on the move: Crime and perceived safety in transit environments. Security Journal, 27(2), 127-131. Chockalingam, K., & Vijaya, A. (2008). Sexual harassment of women in public transport in Chennai city: A victimological perspective, The Indian Journal of Criminology & Criminalistics, 3, 167–184. Chui, W. H., & Ong, R. (2008). Indecent assault on the public transport in Hong Kong. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 36, 2-14. Clark, P., & Crous, W. (2002). Public transport in metropolitan Cape Town: Past, present and future. Transport Reviews, 22 (1), 77-101. Clarke, R.V.G. (Ed.) (1996). Preventing mass transit crime. Crime Prevention Studies (Volume 6). Lynne Rienner Publishers. Countermeasures Assessment and Security Experts (2007). Public transportation passenger security inspections: a guide for policy decision makers. TCRP report 86; Public Transportation Security, Volume 13. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board.
  • 13. PREVENTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRIME IN EL SALVADOR 10 Crime Concern (2004). People’s perceptions of personal security and their concerns about crime on public transport: research findings. London: Department for Transport. Delbosc, A., & Currie, G. (2012). Modelling the causes and impacts of personal safety perceptions on public transport ridership. Transport Policy, 24, 302-309. DeGeneste, H.I., & Sullivan, J.P. (1994). Policing transportation facilities. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. Department for Transport (DfT). (2010). Estimated costs to society of crime on public transport in England in 2006/07: Final report on findings. London: DfT Department of the Environment, Transport, and the Regions (DETR). (2000). Women and public transport: the checklist. guideline no. 1, gender auditing: An overview. Wetherby, UK: DETR. Desai, P., Keyy, J.,& Sykes, W. (2009). Passengers’ perceptions of personal security on public transport – qualitative research report. London: Department of Transport. Easteal, P., & Wilson,P. (1991). Preventing crime on transport: rail, buses, taxis and planes. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Easton, H., & Smith, F. (2003). Getting there: Reducing crime on public transport. London: NACRO. Felson, M., Belanger, M., Bichler,G., Bruzinski, C., Campbell, G., Fried, C., Grofik,K., Mazur, I., O’Regan, A., Sweeney, P., Ullma, A., & Willaims, L. (1996). Redesigning hell: preventing crime and disorder at the port authority bus terminal (pp 5-93). In R. Clarke (Ed). Preventing Mass Transit Crime. Crime Prevention Studies (Vol6). Monsey, NY: Willow Tree Press Ferrell, C.E., Mathur,S., Meek, J., & Piven, M. (2012). Neighborhood crime and travel behavior: an investigation of the influence of neighborhood crime rates on mode choice – phase II. San Jose, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute, College of Business, San Jose State University. Friedman, D.M. (2003). Security measures in the commercial trucking and bus industries. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board. Goodwill, J.A., Reep, A., & Pine, R. (2012). Improving bus transit safety through rewards and discipline.TCRP Synthesis, 97. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board. Great Britain. Department of Transport. (2012). Bus and coach security recommended best practice. 2nd ed. London: Department of Transport. Hargadine, E.O. (1995). Case Studies of Transit Security on Bus Systems. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration.
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