NEWS

Ban suspected sex offenders from buses, SkyTrain, say Transit Police

04/30/2015 11:50 EDT | Updated 08/07/2015 07:59 EDT
Metro Vancouver's transit police are calling for some suspects of sexual assaults to be banned from taking transit as part of their bail conditions.

Earlier this month, transit police arrested 27-year-old Mukesh Yasarapu, who was charged with two counts of sexual assault related to separate incidents that took place on busses.

Yasarapu was released on a number of conditions, including one that allows him to keep riding on transit as long as he stays away from women. 

Transit police spokesperson Anne Drennan said when the court imposes conditions like that, they are difficult to police.

"They establish conditions that we think, a lot of times, are just ridiculous," said Drennan.

"They'll say you can ride the bus still, but you have to stand or sit within 15 feet of the driver, so the driver can presumably keep an eye on you. Well the driver is busy driving a huge bus."

Should sex offenders be banned from transit?

Transit police have repeatedly asked judges for complete bans on riding transit for many suspects, but Drennan said those requests are often denied because the suspects may still have to get to work, doctors appointments, meetings with lawyers and other appointments.

She said one solution to that would be conditions that require someone to accompany them on public transit who is aware of the charges and conditions they have to follow.

Drennan said a ban on riding the bus isn't requested for all suspects, just for prolific offenders.

To hear the full interview with Anne Drennan, listen to the audio labelled: Transit police want sex offenders banned.

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