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After years of pleading with operators to improve overall safety, union leaders are praising Metro Vancouver's new transit police chief for putting more officers where they can make a difference.
Crimes against people, including assaults against bus drivers, dropped a record 17 percent during the first half of the year.
The vice-president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 111 Gavin Davies says Chief Neil Dubord has made positive changes.
"They have a more proactive role on the buses than they did in the years past."
He adds the courts are taking this type of crime more seriously.
"We just had two assaults. The assailants -- one was sentenced to 15 days in jail and the other was sentenced to 17. When that news gets out, that's also going to be a further deterrent."
But Davies fears new service reductions will lead to more overcrowding, and violence.
"We have a good possibility that some of the buses that run half-hourly are going to move to hourly. We may see routes being removed altogether -- especially at night, which is going to increase the possibility of passengers taking their frustrations and their angers out on the bus drivers."
Property crimes also dropped 4 percent from 2011.