Crime on public transit down in 2012 0
Transit Police report a significant reduction in crime on the bus and SkyTrain system throughout the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year, while officers’ overtime pay has been slashed in half.
Overall, the police force saw a 17% drop in offences — including sexual assault, aggravated assault and theft — against people throughout the transit system while property crime has dropped 4%, according to self-reported numbers submitted to the agency’s police board.
Transit Police chief Neil Dubord told 24 hours officers are concentrating on chronic offenders and hotspots prone to criminal activity while at the same time working on long-term crime reduction strategies.
He added the implementation of faregates, which are scheduled to go operational in spring 2013, will mean more time protecting passengers and staff as opposed to checking for proof of payment.
Transit Police came under fire in May after an audit revealed its 167 officers banked almost $1.5 million overtime pay in 2009.
Dubord said the audit alerted him to the high overtime costs and he since went about implementing staffing changes.
He said overtime costs have been reduced by changing officers’ schedules to better align with when and where most offences occur.
“If you’re running a pizza shop, you want your people there at five o’clock at night, not 11 o’clock in the morning.”