Noting that it has “much greater scope,” than the two campaigns preceding it, Metro Vancouver Transit Police (MVTP) launched what they said is phase three of an ongoing campaign against incidents of sexual assault on public transit.
“In 2012, Transit Police designated sexual offending on transit as one of the top four priorities for the police department,” said MVTP in a release. “In January of 2013, phase one of our anti-sex campaign was launched with a train the trainer session at the SFU Downtown Vancouver Campus.”
Phase two of the campaign followed in November of that same year, and featured – among other things – 80 posters with the message that “Unwanted Touching is a Crime,” displayed throughout SkyTrain cars.
Recommendations from that campaign included extending the length of campaigns on the transit system, increasing visibility on buses and at SkyTrain stations, as well as on the trains, and targeting the spring and/or summer, when a higher number of sex offences are reported.
“As a result of those recommendations, phase three of our campaign is being launched today and will continue through to mid-September,” said MVTP. “It is much greater in scope than phase two, with 340 ad spaces allocated on SkyTrain cars, 15 ads at SkyTrain stations in addition to the LCD screens, 300 ads on buses and 15 bus loop ads at Lougheed, Edmonds and Carvolth Exchanges.”
An additional 35 platform posters will be placed at SkyTrain stations in mid-July and a strong partnership with Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers will provide advertising support across Metro Vancouver, throughout the summer.
The purpose of the campaign is to reduce the number of sex offences occurring on our transit system by making it an unwelcome environment for offenders, to increase the number of sex offences reported to Metro Vancouver Transit Police so that victims can be supported and offenders can be arrested and prosecuted and to provide safety messaging and police contact information to our passengers.
“All passengers using our transit system have the right to travel without fear of being assaulted or harassed,” said MVTP Chief Doug LePard. “It is our commitment at Metro Vancouver Transit Police to provide that safe ride, and to let passengers know that any sex offence reported to us by victims or witnesses will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.”