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The number of violent crimes and thefts reported on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains and buses, and at rail stations and platforms declined 34 percent during the first half compared with the same 2013 period, agency officials announced last week.Overall, violent crimes declined more than 34 percent while robberies and thefts — which are the most common crimes on the system — also registered double-digit declines with 83 and 179 fewer incidents, respectively, CTA officials said in a press release.Across the rail system, serious personal and property crimes dropped 22 percent to the lowest level in the past three years. Robberies on trains declined 35 percent, with 33 fewer incidents, while robberies at stations and on platforms decreased 43 percent with 28 fewer incidents. Collectively, rail system robberies dropped 39 percent from last year.Theft decreased across the rail system, with the number of incidents down 13 percent on platforms and 19 percent on trains."There are a number of factors that can affect crime levels, but regardless of how you look at the numbers, it's clear that progress is being made," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "The decreases we’re seeing across the board are the result of the hard work and ongoing collective efforts of the Chicago Police Department and the CTA, who together continually monitor and analyze incidents of crime on our system and strategically deploy resources to combat all types of crime, from graffiti to robbery."