Mayor Lee joined by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) announced the launch of a new “Eyes Up, Phones Down” anticrime and public awareness campaign to remind transit riders to be aware of their surroundings at Muni stations, stops and on vehicles. Crimes on Muni are often crimes of opportunity and customers can help deter theft by staying alert and aware of their surroundings.
In addition to the anticrime public awareness campaign, the SFMTA and the SFPD have partnered to deploy more officers on Muni to increase overall security. This increased police presence has already had a positive impact in the first month of deployment. In September 2013, there were 51 reported robberies on the system, which dropped to nine robberies reported in October 2013. In addition, incidents of larceny decreased from 80 reported on the system in September 2013 to 26 reported incidents in October 2013.
“While overall crime on Muni is down, thefts of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are trending up, not only in San Francisco, but in most major cities across America,” said Mayor Lee. “An increase of officers on public transit and creating public awareness about electronic device theft will help us make San Francisco safer for everyone.”
“San Franciscans are being victimized for their mobile devices at an alarming rate,” said District Attorney Gascón. “While we continue to press smartphone manufacturers to implement theft deterrent features that will safeguard consumers, it is vital that Muni riders stay alert in public places.”
“When our riders see an officer on board, it creates the sense of security, while effectively reducing crime throughout the system,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin. “As the holiday season approaches, we want our customers to stay safe and be alert while using these devices while walking, cycling or riding public transit.”
“Theft-related crimes are largely preventable through education and awareness, and this anticrime campaign is a reminder to all of us who ride the buses, light rail vehicles and those walking about the city to pay attention to our surroundings,” said SFPD Chief Greg Suhr. “The SFPD applauds the SFMTA for being pro-active in helping to reduce these types of theft. Safety is an ongoing effort and with police being added throughout the Muni system, there is now a higher level of safety and security for the public.”
The SFMTA’s Transit Fare Inspectors will also join in the awareness program with a special outreach effort distributing safety information printed on cell phone screen cleaners and safety tip cards. These items will be passed out to customers in stations and on vehicles throughout the system to customers that appear vulnerable to these crimes of opportunity.
Muni Phone & Electronics Safety Tips
Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
Avoid engaging in cell phone conversations while on transit.
Keep your cell phone and electronic devices in a pocket, purse or backpack.
Do not walk and text.
Never loan your cell phone to a stranger.
If your device is lost or stolen, immediately report the loss to your service provider and the police.
If you see a theft in progress, please call 911.
The first phase of the four-year project will run now through March 2014 with the goal of reducing theft and larceny by two percent per year.
For more information, go to: www.sfmta.com/eyesup