Transit cops to step up patrols (?)

JEFF HODSON, METRO VANCOUVER
December 02, 2008
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Metro Vancouver’s Transit Police are embarking on a “reassurance policing” campaign to make sure passengers are safe – and feel safe – riding SkyTrain.

“We’re looking at what we can do to enhance that perception of safety and security in and around our stations,” said Ward Clapham, new chief of the transit police, at Broadway SkyTrain station yesterday.

The campaign, which does not include hiring additional police officers, means that more uniformed police officers and SkyTrain attendants will be deployed at five Expo Line stations, particularly at night.

The five – Main Street, Broadway, Metrotown, New Westminster and Surrey Central – are the stations that passengers said felt least safe.

Clapham said a number of factors, like aggressive panhandling, loitering drug addicts, graffiti and garbage, increased the unsafe perception.

The force will also begin a pilot project to test police dogs on SkyTrain and buses. In addition, a dozen officers will begin patrolling in and around stations on bicycles. Another 10 officers will join them next year.

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix, a vocal critic on the safety near SkyTrain stations, said he felt the campaign was a good step, but repeated a call for more SkyTrain attendants.

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