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More Edmonton LRT station, transit passenger security improvements recommended in city report

Click to play video: 'City of Edmonton staff look to improve safety at LRT stations' City of Edmonton staff look to improve safety at LRT stations
WATCH ABOVE: City staff are looking to improve safety at Edmonton's LRT stations. While EPS numbers show violent crime specific to the LRT has dropped since 2015, there are still concerns. Julia Wong explains – Sep 7, 2018

Riding the LRT is a safer passenger experience than a few years ago in Edmonton, however a report released Thursday that’s heading to a city council committee next week said more design improvements for stations are needed.

The report uses the term “CPTED,” which stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. New stations already are designed to that safety standard. However, Stadium and Coliseum LRT stations are in need of a redesign.

READ MORE: Edmonton police say roving groups of teens behind up to 60 robberies

City Councillor Tony Caterina has long complained about the lighting and other safety features in those northside stations, and has pushed for upgrades to be considered in the next four-year capital budget cycle.

FILE: The Coliseum LRT station on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 in Edmonton, Alta. Global News

The report said city staff have done site visits for all 18 LRT stations and have found improvements needed include: increased lighting in the west parking lots at Clareview and Belvedere stations; additional and improved camera surveillance; and a review of staffing assignments to ensure proactive monitoring and opportunities to increase response times.

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READ MORE: Man seriously injured after leg gets caught between train and platform at Edmonton LRT station

Police data, from January 1, 2015 to June 14 of this year, on violence and disorder calls specific to LRT beats was reviewed.

“The data provided indicates that 2,277 calls were received and classified as crime or disorder either on trains or in LRT stations,” the report said.

Man found in critical condition near the Belvedere LRT Station parking lot died March 27, 2016. Nathan Gross, Global News

The types of calls ranged from minor to serious. They include assault, disputes, disturbances, harassment, mental health complaints, mischief, robbery and some violations of provincial acts such as trespassing and liquor offences.

READ MORE: Life sentence stands against man convicted of 2nd-degree murder in fatal 2012 LRT attack

“Violent crime on Edmonton’s LRT had dropped by more than half since 2015, once a pilot project was introduced that partnered Municipal Peace Officers with Edmonton Police Service,” the report said.

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“Statistics from the Edmonton Police Service show 114 reports of violent crimes at transit centres and LRT platforms across the city in 2016, compared with 270 violent crimes reported in 2015.”

That works out to roughly three calls per 100,000 of 24.6 million transit trips per year.

WATCH: Raw video showing a large fight between two groups that broke out at Edmonton’s Coliseum station shortly after the Canada Day celebrations in 2014.

A full-time beat team — consisting of nine police officers — was assigned in 2016. Fourteen transit peace officers are also assigned, and the report said they are increasing communication between the two agencies by attending each other’s meetings and strategizing on emerging issues.

READ MORE: Stabbing near Coliseum Station sends man to hospital with life-threatening injuries

The report lists the security disorder rate per 100,000 boardings as 9.6 in 2017 — the last year they have complete statistics. The goal is to reduce that number in 2019 to 6.5.

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A customer satisfaction survey quoted in the report said 78 per cent of users felt satisfied with their personal safety while waiting at an LRT station. The 2019 goal is to improve that to 80 percent.

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