A senior RCMP officer in B.C. predicts criminals and the homeless will be forced out of Vancouver to settle in other provincial cities as the 2010 Olympics draw closer.

Insp. Steve McVarnock, officer in the charge of the Vernon RCMP detachment, worries about "quite an aggressive displacement" by Vancouver police as they clean up the city in advance of the Games.

He said other detachments around B.C. are also concerned about homeless or transient criminals moving to their communities.

McVarnock mentioned that police in Nanaimo were already seeing the trend.

However, Nanaimo media liaison Const. Gary O'Brien denied officers there have seen a significant increase in the transient population.

He said officers on bike patrol often ask new transients where they're from.

"Seldom have any indicated they have been encouraged to leave Vancouver," O'Brien said.

He said transients tend to move in a triangle between Vancouver, Nanaimo and Victoria.

O'Brien wouldn't comment on McVarnock's claims.

McVarnock raised the issue while appearing before Vernon city council on Wednesday.

He's hoping councillors approve his request for funding to hire four more constables.