No one should ever be subject to violence at work. Sadly, assaults against bus operators occur approximately 2,000 times a year in Canada. This poses an enormous public safety threat, not only to bus operators but transit passengers, pedestrians and other drivers on the road.
Transit Police take assaults on frontline staff very seriously and address this issue in three critical ways:
Thoroughly investigating anyone responsible for violence on public transit, and recommending charges if sufficient evidence exists
Providing frontline staff with advanced awareness, self-protection and de-escalation training
Actively promoting public awareness and encouraging everyone to do their part in maintaining safety on transit by reporting all incidents.
Transit Police provide in-depth training to frontline workers that help them to recognize risks, to learn de-escalation techniques and to better protect themselves.
As required, Transit Police develop individual safety plans for key offenders who frequently threaten frontline staff. These detailed plans are shared with bus operators and supervisors to reduce the risk of assault and ensure safety and security for staff and transit users.
In early 2015, Transit Police was instrumental in getting Bill S-221 passed. Now law, any assault on a public transit operator will be defined as an “aggravated circumstance” resulting in a potentially harsher sentence under the Criminal Code.