Specialty teams redeployed after violent incidents on transit

Apr 13 2023, 8:50 pm

On the heels of recent violence and criminal activity on transit in Metro Vancouver, Transit Police will be making some adjustments.

Transit Police said that it has several specialty teams, like its plainclothes Crime Suppression Team, which is now being deployed to the areas of the transit system where there are reports of criminal activity and increased violence.

Over the past several weeks, there have been multiple violent incidents that have taken place in and around Metro Vancouver transit stations and transit vehicles. One of the most recent cases resulted in a 17-year-old being stabbed, who later lost his life.

Flowers for the 17-year-old stabbing victim. (Nikitha Martins/Daily Hive)

In a different incident, a stabbing at a New Westminster station resulted in a station being shut down.

There was also a case of a man’s throat being slashed in an unprovoked stranger attack in Surrey and another incident where several passengers were reportedly assaulted aboard SkyTrain in Burnaby.

A Transit Police spokesperson told Daily Hive Urbanized it’s also trying to determine the factors which led to each reported incident, adding that several incidents are in the very early stages of investigation and that no common causes have been identified yet.

“We are also expanding at Transit Police, with 12 Community Safety Officers in the process of being hired and another 12 Community Safety Officers due to be hired by early 2024. This is a new safety resource on the transit system that will take on a range of low-risk police work, freeing up our Police Officers to spend more time on the system, conducting proactive policing and investigations.”

In the meantime, Transit Police had some suggestions for riders who may either be victims or witnesses of crimes in progress, including texting safety alerts to 87-77-77, a 24/7 number.

There’s also a yellow emergency strip on SkyTrains and emergency phones on platforms. Transit Police is also reminding people to call 911 in case of emergency.

“Passengers can also inform bus drivers, SkyTrain attendants, marine attendants, or any transit employee about a safety concern.”

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