10/26/2013 10:14 EDT

SeaBus Voyeur Took Pictures Up Women's Skirts, Police Say


The Metro Vancouver Transit Police are seeking a witness and a victim in a voyeurism case that saw a man allegedly take pictures up women's skirts at a SeaBus station.

The incident took place at the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal on Sept. 13 at around 11 a.m. A male witness noticed a man apparently taking photos under a woman's skirt as he pretended to tie his shoes, the police said in a news release.

The witness pointed the suspect out to a SeaBus attendant, who spotted the man appearing to repeat the action on a woman wearing a red dress.

The attendant notified the second woman, who looked to be about 20 years old, as to what happened before she took the SeaBus to Vancouver.

Transit police arrested the man, 36, and seized his cell phone camera. The suspect was later released and police expect that he will be charged.

Investigators are now seeking both the witness and the second victim, who each left the scene without providing contact info.

Transit police made the incident public as they launch an education program that encourages riders to report instances of sexual assault on the TransLink system, The Province reported.

Spokesperson Anne Drennan told the newspaper that 106 sex assault incidents have been reported on Metro Vancouver public transit in the first nine months of 2013, compared to 103 for all of 2012.

The force is launching a text number where assault victims and witnesses can report incidents while they're happening.

"We’ve known for quite some time that the situation is getting worse," Drennan said.

The campaign comes after two Simon Fraser University students launched "Harassment on Translink," a website where victims can share stories of unwanted gender-based attention on public transit.

The site has compiled several disturbing stories. One woman said she was on a full bus when a man at a stop made eye contact with her, lifted his jacket and exposed himself.

Another woman said when she was 18, an older man sat next to her on the 98-B-Line and placed his hand on her upper thigh, then pulled away when she noticed.

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