June 23, 2008 - The one-year anniversary of police presence in the Montréal metro was celebrated on June 18, and many positive results were mentioned at the press conference marking the event.
First of all, yesterday's partners have become today's colleagues. In the last year, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal has hired 46 security agents from the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) who have become Section métro police officers after completing their policing techniques training and earning their diploma from the École nationale de police du Québec.
Because police interventions inside metro stations require special protocols, the SPVM Section de la formation designed a special training program for the Section métro, in collaboration with the Groupe tactique d'intervention, the Secteur de l'emploi de la force, the Liaison sécurité and Planification opérationnelle sections and the STM.
Besides safeguarding the people in the public transit network and ensuring a smooth flow of traffic, the Section metro officers enforce STM regulations and support the STM staff in their duties. Links have also been established with the postes de quartier, for the rapid deployment of police visibility and intervention plans.
And thanks to the "Équinoxe" coordination tables set up in each of the regions of Montréal, problem solving strategies and operations are better coordinated than ever.
From July 2007 to March 2008, SPVM officers (from the Section metro and the postes de quartier) on patrol in the 64 metro stations provided 118,501 hours of police presence. During that same period, they responded to 20,174 emergency and non-emergency calls.
A partial statistical portrait of crime in the metro, in a document entitled "Portrait sommaire de la première année de la Division du réseau transport en commun" (summary of the first year of the public transit division - available in French on our website), shows that security has improved since the permanent arrival of police officers in the metro. Three of the four most common crimes committed in the metro - robbery (-18.4%), simple theft (-15.7%) and misdemeanours (-9.6%) - have declined significantly in 2007-2008.
Only the number of assaults has increased, from 225 in 2006-2007 to 238 in 2007-2008. It should be noted, however, that the increase in assaults is due to an increase in the number of assaults against police officers. Excluding this type of crime, the number of assaults is down 6%.
Survey of sense of security in the metro
403 metro users were polled by Baromètre, to assess their sense of security and their opinion of police activities and visibility.
Overall, the 2008 survey shows that users feel the metro is safe and that the police presence reassures them:
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