Sexual assault: the SPVM wants to educate taxi drivers

plaintes-pour-agressions-sexuelles-taxisThe Police Service of the City of Montreal (SPVM) is working on an outreach program to the sexual assaults that could be offered to taxi drivers, learned Press, while the number of female youth complaint assaulted in a taxi is increase since 2013.

“This program would aim to sensitize drivers to the reality experienced by victims of aggression in order to sensitize them,” says Sergeant Laurent Gingras, spokesman OPMC.

“We could also sensitize them to be more alert if a person who is intoxicated is accompanied by a person who seems to enjoy the situation, for example,” adds Ian Lafrenière commander.

The development of this program is still in its infancy and the SPVM will not advance on a date when it will be implemented. The police force has also not yet contacted the Office of Taxi Montreal (BTM) about it.

The BTM is revising the contents of its continuing education and says open to improvement. The head of communications, Marie-Hélène Giguère, however, prefers to wait to know more about the project before deciding.

More complaints

Since 2013, there has been some increase in the number of complaints of sexual assaults in taxis. “We can not explain why, said the sergeant Gingras. It is also possible that people further denounce these incidents. ”

There are two weeks Pascale, a young woman who prefers silence his last name, is mounted in a taxi to 3:30 am in the Old Port of Montreal and gave an address in Little Italy.

“The driver took Highway 15, I told him that it was not the right path, but he continued. He started to tell me he thought I was beautiful and he tried to touch me, remembers Pascale. Then he pulled out his penis. As soon as the car stopped at a light, I left running. ”

The woman reported the incident to the SPVM and BTM in the days that followed. Pascale is one of 17 sexual assault cases opened in a taxi in 2015. No charges have been brought for these 17 incidents, but a suspect was identified for one of them, said Sgt Gingras.

Although denunciations are increasing, the number of charges barely fluctuated. Of the 27 cases opened in 2014, only one indictment was filed. “When there is no charge, it does not mean that there are no consequences for drivers,” says Sgt.

It recognizes that the series of attacks last fall was not resolved. Four young women were assaulted in similar circumstances in a taxi they had hailed. The descriptions of the attacker appeared to target a single suspect.

A few weeks after the media had reported the facts, the Quebec government imposed a criminal background check for taxi drivers.

The sergeant Gingras recalls that it is always better to call a taxi, rather than hailing it so that there is a trace of the race.

Pascale always avoided to hail taxis, but the night of the assault, his phone battery was discharged. “Now I’ll always hang my charger with me!” She described her attacker as a white man in his thirties, wearing glasses

The BTM stresses that the installation of security cameras in all taxi cars, scheduled for 2016, should improve the safety of drivers as much as that of the passengers.

Sexual assaults in taxis
2012

• 12 cases opened

• 1 indictment

2013

• 33 files

• 4 indictments

2014

• 27 records

• 1 indictment

2015 (dated August 31)

• 17 files

• No charge but one suspect identified

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