Thursday, July 6, 2017

TransLink statistics on mental health and suicide, plus new statistics on fare evasion released

TransLink recently held an open board meeting on June 23 where the Transit Police presented a report. Two areas in the report stood out to me, information about vulnerable persons and violation tickets issues.

In our province, the number of people who need metal health services, and are not getting those services is increasing. This is one of the reasons why the current provincial government is proposing a Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction. Because people can’t get access to the health services they need, police throughout the province have had to pick up the slack and do what they can to help people who need mental health care. This is not a good situation.

As noted in the Transit Police report, “dealing with the full range of suicidal behaviour and crisis-related incidents places significant demands on police resources as well as trigger the need for critical incident defusing.”

The following chart shows the number of mental health related files.

Mental health related files handled by Transit Police. Select chart to enlarge.

Another area of sombre statistics is around suicides and the transit system. In the first quarter of this year, three people committed suicide. As shown in the following chart, the majority of suicide attempts were not completed. In BC, suicide is one of the leading causes of death.

Statistics on disturbed persons and suicides on the transit system handled by Transit Police. Select chart to enlarge.

In some transit systems, suicide-prevention glass and doors are installed along rail station platforms. In Metro Vancouver, suicide-prevention barriers have been installed on some bridges to reduce the likelihood of someone taking their life. It may be time for physical suicide-prevention systems to be considered at rail stations to also reduce the likelihood of someone being able to take their life.

On a different note, in March, Transit Police were given the ability to issue tickets to people who tamper with, or avoid using, a fare gate on the transit system. A ticket comes with a $173 price tag.

Number of violation tickets issued in the first quarter of 2017 by Transit Police. Select chart to enlarge.

This April, the number of violation tickets issued more than doubled. It was reported in the media that the number of fare evasion tickets were down 29% in the period between April 2016 and 2017, compared to the same period in 2015-16. With the Transit Police now able to issue tickets for people that try to get around using a fare gate correctly, and if the April 2017 numbers are any indication, the number of tickets issued should markedly increase this year.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Because y'know we we'rent issuing as many tickets so we needed to come up with a new way to issue tickets to keep the numbers up =) don't wanna mess with our profit margin after all