Archive for the ‘Transit Police’ category

– CCTV pilot project focuses on Surrey crime hot spot

October 10, 2009

ED. Cameras do not prevent crime. It would be far more effective and less expense to hire security guards to patrol the stations and parking lots. What’s wrong with TransLink management?!

The Province, Vancouver, BC

By Kent Spencer

New closed-circuit television cameras at Scott Road SkyTrain station parking lot are watching over one of Surrey’s hot spots for crime.

The city’s crime-reduction manager, Colleen Kerr, hopes the 12 cameras, which were installed this summer and provide blanket coverage of the lot, will ultimately decrease auto thefts. (ED. Rather than hope something works, let’s implement a proven system to reduce crime).

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– Terror Probe Puts U.S. Mass Transit Systems on Alert

September 22, 2009

Washington Post

United States

By Carrie Johnson and Spencer S. Hsu

A 24-year-old Afghan man at the center of an unfolding FBI investigation into a possible U.S. terrorism cell was ordered held without bond in Colorado Monday as authorities raced to learn more about an alleged plot using hydrogen peroxide explosives and who else might have been helping to carry it out.

Meanwhile, authorities in Washington and elsewhere were stepping up safety patrols on mass transit systems in response to an advisory issued in connection with the probe.

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI sent a bulletin to transit agencies Friday repeating past warnings to be on guard for attacks on mass transit systems, and identifying hydrogen peroxide-based explosives as a specific risk. Federal officials called the notice “precautionary”, and said it included possible countermeasures such as random checks of stations, trains and buses.

Local officials in Washington said the bulletin specifically mentioned Grand Central Station in New York City, but said they have nevertheless increased the number of random patrols. Because there was no specific threat for this region, Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said police have not implemented random bag searches.

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– Only matter of time before someone dies due to driver assault

September 15, 2009

The Province

Vancouver

By Kent Spencer

It’s only a matter of time before someone is killed as a result of a bus driver being assaulted on a moving bus, authorities say.

The Coast Mountain Bus Company said Monday that violent passengers have grabbed steering wheels and drivers have been punched about 10 times this year as buses travel through busy streets.

“Drivers typically try to fight them off, but it doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to figure out a fatality is waiting to happen,” said Rick Claybo, an assault analyst with the bus company.

“When the sidewalks are full at 5 in the afternoon, something’s going to happen to a pedestrian. Or a car could be squeezed off the road,” said Claybo, who has documented 114 assaults this year on drivers.

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– Metro Vancouver bus driver assaulted by urinating passenger

September 14, 2009

Vancouver Sun

A Coast Mountain Bus driver was punched in the face and suffered other scrapes and bruises while trying to eject a disruptive passenger in Burnaby early Saturday morning.

Derek Zabel, spokesman for Coast Mountain, said the man and two women got on the 123 bus, which runs between New Westminster and Brentwood stations, at about 1 a.m.

The bus driver allowed the man to ride for free when he didn’t have any fare. But as he headed toward the back of the bus, the man became disruptive, Zabel said.

The driver warned the man to calm down but a little while later noticed in his rear-view mirror that the man had exposed him and was urinating on the bus.

The driver pulled the bus over at the next stop at Canada Way and Stanley and told the man to get off. The man then allegedly started smashing windows and punched the driver several times in the face, Zabel said.

The driver, whose glasses were broken, suffered a minor bruise below his eye and a few scrapes.

His assailant is described as a short stocky Caucasian, five feet six inches tall and 160 pounds. A search by Burnaby RCMP failed to locate him Sunday morning.

The assault comes as TransLink is in the midst of installing cameras on all Coast Mountain buses. It’s also investigating whether to install safety shields around drivers.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

– Calgary Transit security understaffed, city safety audit finds

September 12, 2009

CBC News

Calgary

An audit of Calgary’s transit system, commissioned by the city after the killing of a woman near a C-Train station last year, concludes it’s very safe, but recommends tripling the number of transit security officers.

The 130-page report, which was written by a consulting company, canvassed passengers, looked at crime statistics and examined spending on transit safety. It was verbally presented to a city subcommittee on Thursday.

Ninety-three per cent of respondents said they felt safe using Calgary Transit during the day, but that confidence plummeted to 38 per cent among users at night, according to the study.

It found transit security is extremely understaffed compared to North American averages and recommended tripling the number of transit officers in Calgary.

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– SkyTrain police attended 36,424 incidents in 2008

September 11, 2009

The Province

transit.police

Crime has drastically plunged at Metro Vancouver’s “scariest” SkyTrain station, according to the transit police 2008 annual report, released Thursday.

Surrey Central Station, often perceived to be the most crime-riddled transit hub, saw a 46-per-cent drop in incidents from 2007 to 2008.

“When I used to come down here, I saw violent stuff often,” Jessica Wells, 18, told The Province Thursday as she exited the station.

“When I pass by now, I don’t see fights any more, but there are still a lot of junkies.

“I don’t think the junkies will ever leave.”

Overall, reported crime within 100 metres of a SkyTrain station was down nearly four per cent last year, compared with 2007. The number of crimes at stations plunged by more than 31 per cent.

The four stations making up the Surrey corridor accounted for 18 per cent of the 36,424 incidents transit police attended last year.

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Police no longer hold majority on Transit Police board

September 9, 2009

By Jeff Nagel – BC Local News

The police board overseeing TransLink’s Transit Police Service now has a civilian chair and a majority of civilian members.

The change answers critics who had argued it was too heavily skewed to police, violating the basic standards of police governance.

Peter W. Webster, a member of the Transit Police Board for several years and past director on the Vancouver Police Board, was appointed chair by Solicitor General Kash Heed.

Webster replaces New Westminster Police Chief Constable Lorne Zapotichny, who had served as chair for five years and now leaves the board.

Two new civilian members have also been added:

– Virginia Hasselfield, a former director on the board of the Fraser River Port Authority with experience in commerce, fundraising and corporate change; and

– R. William Brown, a former Port Moody Police Board member with a background in international commerce.

They bring the Transit Police Board up to five civilian members and two sworn senior police administrators.

Transit Police Chief Ward Clapham welcomed the change.

“The oversight and reporting procedure under this kind of structure is a healthy and fair process for us and the citizens we serve,” he said.

Other reappointed board members include: RCMP Assistant Commissioner Peter German, Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Doug LePard, TransLink Chief Financial Officer Ian Jarvis, and Baj Puri, who also chairs the B.C. Association of Police Boards.

The police board’s duties include appointing officers and setting goals, priorities, standards, guidelines and policies.

The board is also charged with overseeing complaints and preventing neglect and abuse by officers.