Monday, April 7, 2014

Global Guardian

A transatlantic police operation will take place this week across England, Canada and the United States to crackdown on unwanted sexual behavior committed on public transport networks.

Global Guardian
 The operation, called Global Guardian, will run from Monday, April 7th to Friday, April 11th and will involve five police forces based in Boston, London, Vancouver and Washington, D.C.

 The organizations taking part include British Transport Police (BTP), Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Transport for London (TfL), Metro Vancouver Transit Police, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Transit Police and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

 Global Guardian aims to improve the levels of reporting and access to services among victims of sexual offences and to create an environment on public transport networks around the world which does not tolerate intimidation and sexual harassment.

These types of offences often go unreported across the globe as victims either worry they won’t be taken seriously, think it’s not important enough, or believe it is just part and parcel of everyday life.

Global Guardian will involve an increased number of uniformed and plain clothes officers from the three different countries stepping up patrols on trains, buses, tubes and metro services.

They will be advising the travelling public about the initiative as well as identifying any suspicious behavior across the transport networks.

Throughout the week of action each police force will be using the hashtag #GlobalGuardian to raise awareness of the campaign and to encourage people to report incidents that have happened to them on the transport network.


Chief Paul MacMillan, of the MBTA Transit Police in Boston, said: “We are pleased to participate in this initiative and hope to raise awareness to what we know is a crime that often goes unreported.  Our passengers should know that we take these incidents seriously and they should not tolerate this type of behavior.”

Speaking on behalf of the partners in London, Chief Superintendent Paul Brogden, of British Transport Police, said: “BTP, MPS and TfL have been working together over the last year to increase awareness and confidence amongst the public to report unwanted sexual behaviour.

“We know that this problem isn’t unique to London and are eager to share our methods and findings with other forces. We’re keen to work with our partners in America and Canada, as we want all victims to know that they are not alone and will always be taken seriously when they report an incident. Together we are committed to stamping out this type of behaviour from transport networks around the world.”

Acting Superintendent Colin Carswell, MPS Safer Transport Command, added: “If someone has made you feel uncomfortable on your journey, however minor it may seem to you, reporting it to police can help us target the perpetrator and prevent it happening to another passenger.”

Chief Officer Neil Dubord, of the Transit Police in Vancouver, said: “Sexual offending on public transportation is a global issue and is something that the Metro Vancouver Transit Police take very seriously. We are pleased to be taking part in this international initiative and are committed to continuously working with all our partners both locally, and globally, to rid our system of this type of behavior.”

 Chief Ron Pavlik, of the Metro Transit Police in Washington DC, said: “Every customer has the right to expect a safe ride without fear of being sexually assaulted or harassed in any way.

"We are putting would-be harassers on notice that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated on DC's Metro system."

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