Last September I wrote that New Westminster’s SkyTrain safety statistics challenged our community’s assumptions about crime issues at our five SkyTrain stations. First of all, crime is generally down. Secondly, when measuring overall incidences of crime per 100,000 passengers, 22nd St. Station turned out to be worse than the much busier New Westminster station.
But one thing that I didn’t have was insight into just what kind of crime we were talking about. Fare evasion was lumped in with more serious crimes like assault and drug possession in the data I had access to. But I just saw that the Vancouver Sun has produced a series of infographics on SkyTrain crime (violent crime and drug crime) as part of a bigger series on public transit issues in Vancouver.
The Sun’s graphics show:
- New Westminster SkyTrain Station is the most violent station in New Westminster, and the fourth most violent in the whole line, with 26 incidents of violent crime reported in 2009. Eleven were related to weapons possession and 12 for assault. (The top three most violent stations in Metro Van are Broadway, Surrey Central and Metrotown.)
- 22nd St. is the next most violent station in New West, but it is in the middle of the pack in Metro Van. Nine of the crimes are assaults, with four robberies and two sexual assaults.
In terms of drug-related crime:
- New Westminster Station tops our local list again in terms of number of offences, but it’s almost all pot possession
- Other stations in New West were fairly low on the list compared to other parts of Metro Van. Almost all the problems related to marijuana possession, though there was also some cocaine possession. Braid Station had one incident of drug trafficking.
Again, to put it all into perspective, TransLink moves around 700,000 riders daily. In all of 2009, there were just 26 incidents of violent crime and 27 of drug-related crime recorded at New Westminster’s eponymous “worst’ SkyTrain station. And, as I mentioned last time, the risk of death related to driving is six times higher than the risk of being a victim of any sort of crime in or around the least safe station on the line.