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Friday, May 27, 2022

LA city council seeks to prevent street harassment in public places and on transit systems

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved recommendations from several city departments that aim to strengthen surveillance in the city’s transit systems and public spaces and respond to street harassment.

Last June, council members – led by Council President Nuri Martinez, Councilwomen Monica Rodriguez and Nithya Raman and Councilmen Joe Buscano, John Lee and Mitch O’Farrell – led by Chief Legislative Analyst, Civil + Human Rights and Reducing Street Harassment. Ordered recommendations for. Equity Department, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Street Services, Department of Recreation and Parks and Department of Personnel. It also requested the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority to report on past and upcoming efforts to reduce harassment on trains, buses and transportation stops.

On Friday the city council voted 11-0 to approve the following recommendations:

– Instruct LADOT to require city transit operating contractors to collect data on road harassment and develop procedures for receiving and reporting incidents of harassment at transit and bus stops.

– Instruct the Department of Recreation and Parks, LADOT, the Bureau of Street Lighting and Street Services to analyze the public space in their jurisdiction and report on the physical environment and how safety can be improved, including new design standards. that will reduce harassment

– Instruct LADOT to report on reliability or transit service and the possibility of expanding real-time bus arrival information at bus stops to include anti-harassment information and options for reporting real-time incidents; to report on its new pilot program that would require city transit contractors to allow on-demand stops at night; and reporting on the resources needed to create an essential educational and bystander training programme.

After the vote, the information technology agency will also report on platforms and apps that can make it easier for people to report harassment in the public domain. The Department of Civil + Human Rights and Equality will also collaborate with the Department of Cultural Affairs to develop a public education campaign against oppression.

Council members ordered the recommendations last year following a rise in harassment against the Asian American Pacific Islander community. The proposal also states that nearly 80% of women experience harassment in their lifetime, and more than a third of women under the age of 24 have, citing a 2019 study by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment. Have experienced street harassment in the last six months.

“Everyone, regardless of your race, religion or gender identity, deserves to feel safe and respected,” LA Civil Rights executive director Capri Maddox said in a statement Friday. “Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in hate crimes and harassment in Los Angeles, which often target women and communities of color. We can be better than this, and we are working in this effort to make Los Angeles safer for all.” praise them.”

According to a study in the American Journal of Criminal Justice, violent crimes against Asian Americans doubled between 2015 and 2018. The Los Angeles Police Department also reported an increase in Los Angeles in 2020, with 15 hate crimes filed against the AAPI community. up to seven in 2019

According to LAPD Deputy Chief Chris Pitcher, the number of hate crimes related to race or ethnicity in Los Angeles increased by 18.6% in 2020 compared to 2019.

“This is completely unacceptable. Many major cities around the world have carried out successful public information and audience training campaigns to prevent street harassment, and for the first time in its history, Los Angeles is carrying out a similar effort. It is,” Counselor Joe Buscano said on Friday.

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