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Metro Board member skips home station because of crime

Wednesday - 9/28/2011, 2:21pm  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Some riders in Prince George's are scared to use the Metro because of recent crime trends, says the county representative to the Metro Board, who herself avoids her nearest station.

Eight of the top 10 high crime Metro stations are in that county, according to a recent Metro document.

"The nearest Metro stop to my family that we routinely use is Largo Town Center, and because of some of the things that have been reported, we are not using that station," says Artis Hampshire-Cowan, the Prince George's board member. That station has been the scene of a number of recent incidents including carjackings and attacks.

"I don't think (my family) is unique because as I speak to others riding Metro, they too have changed their patterns, as most informed people do," she says.

Despite the increasing concern about the crime trends around Metro stations in the county, Hampshire-Cowan says that doesn't mean people should stop riding.

"Metro is safe. I think it is important that message is out. But we have some particular concern based on the data as it relates to some of the stops in our county," she says.

It is clear that crime strategies from the past have not worked, she says, and is calling for a new approach to the issue.

"We have to roll up our sleeves," she says.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)