Saturday, 2:15 PM
MBTA: Campaign increases groping reports, arrests on T
By Globe Staff
Transit police saw a spike in the number of groping reports on the T over the last year, a rise that coincided with a surge in arrests for indecent assault and battery.
The increases came a year after the MBTA launched a public awareness campaign that encourages riders to report inappropriate behavior by calling 617-222-1212 or snapping pictures of offenders with their cellphones. The campaign included advertisements on hundreds of trains and trolleys with provocative slogans such as, "Rub against me and I'll expose you."
Since the start of the campaign, the number of groping complaints increased nearly 74 percent over the last year, from 48 to 65, according to the MBTA. Over that same period, police arrested and charged 24 people with indecent assault and battery, an increase of 85 percent from the 13 arrests made the preceding year.
“This campaign has been highly effective in addressing this persistent issue,” said Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan in a statement. “Not only have more victims reported this crime, but because of their reports, we have been able to arrest more and more of the offenders.”