Statement from the Mayor: Transit Violence
"No one should have to fear for their physical safety or life when riding our transit system. In the last two weeks we have seen three shocking incidents that have caused serious bodily harm and in one case ended the life of a 17-year-old. On behalf of Surrey City Council, my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ethan Bespflug. As a mom, I cannot imagine the pain Ethan’s family is going through.
There is no place for the continuing violent acts that are taking place on our regional transit system. What makes this situation all the more alarming is that it puts so many innocent people at risk, as the attacks are often perpetrated in a confined space of a SkyTrain car or a bus. As it has been said, everyone has the right to feel safe on our regional transit system.
I’ve been in regular contact with both the Surrey RCMP and the Metro Vancouver Transit Police as both agencies work together on increasing joint patrols. In addition to an increased police and security presence on transit, we are looking at a range of sustainable, long-term solutions to ensure everyone on Transit feels safe, and is safe. This includes the high visibility police patrols occurring now; however, that is only part of the solution. We need to look at all potential tools at our disposal, including better use of technology, safety education and outreach, all forming part of a comprehensive approach.
I will be reaching out to the Premier, Solicitor General and Minister of Mental Health to ask for additional resources in policing and to make better use of technology to deter these crimes and identify the perpetrators."
Mayor Brenda Locke