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Downtown Vancouver businesses fed up after latest round of window smashes

Some businesses in downtown Vancouver have seen enough after another window smashing spree.

Sheri Matthew, who has owned Finch’s Tea House on the corner of West Pender and Homer Street for 18 years, was one of the victims.

"This will cost somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 dollars,” Matthew told CTV News.

Matthew says she usually has four to five windows broken per year, but last week, she suffered her second of the month.

"Every time my phone rings after dark I find it really distressing because at least half the time it's the alarm company calling,” she said.

While insurance was once an option, Matthew says the premiums are simply too much.

"The assumption a lot of times that small business people have insurance for this, 'well insurance will cover it' but we don’t so this just comes out of our pocket,” she adds. 

Just down the block on West Hastings is the newly opened Laughing Daughters Gluten Free Bakery & Café, which is unfortunately sporting a newly broken window.

“It’s really frustrating,” said café manager, Caoimhe Heffernan.

"We’re trying to set a good impression here and get our name out there and it does deter a lot of customers,” Heffernan said.

While some businesses look to replace the windows as quickly as possible, others have resorted to another method.

Dressew Supply took to Twitter saying the constant vandalism in the area has led them to leave their windows boarded up for over two years.

With the issues seemingly getting worse in Vancouver and beyond, the Business Improvement area of B.C. is calling for action.

"Over the past couple of years this has become an issue at the forefront not just in Vancouver but in communities across the province,” said BIABC president Teri Smith.

She says they’d like to see all three levels of government work together and stop deflecting responsibility, starting with those running for mayoral positions next month.

“We’re really challenging all of our mayoral and council candidates to commit to supporting core funding street level issues,” Smith says.

“Whether that’s programs to enhance street lighting, sanitation and graffiti abatement, or increasing policing resources."

Smith says they’d also like to see the province step up funding for mental health and addictions issues.

Earlier this year, the NDP government launched an independent study into repeat offenders, specifically looking at the causes of the rise in property crimes and random assaults. The findings are expected to be released later this month. Top Stories

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