Homeless community will not be the focus of crime crackdown in Vancouver's downtown core: VPD
Officers say an increased presence in Vancouver's downtown core prompted by a rise in crime will not be focused on residents of the area who are experiencing homelessness.
The Vancouver Police Department says it plans to redeploy officers to the area "in response to commercial crime and disorder in the business district."
Those crimes include things like window breaks. VPD says these incidents have gone up 100 per cent downtown between June and mid-September this year compared to last.
The department made a similar move earlier in the pandemic following an increase in property crime when businesses were shuttered.
In a news release Thursday, the VPD said it planned to increase the number of patrols immediately in areas it described as hardest hit: Granville Street and the West End.
Officers will also be in the area on foot and bikes to increase the VPD's general street-level presence.
"We're hearing loud and clear from business owners and residents who don't feel safe and are frustrated by rising crime," Sgt. Steve Addison said in the news release.
He said officers in the area will work directly with those who live or work there to address specific concerns, while at the same time working to identify "chronic offenders" and solve crimes that have already occurred.
"We know that many of these crimes are committed by a small number of career criminals and we're going to make life uncomfortable for them," Addison said.
"We also know there are a lot of people facing homelessness, addiction and mental illness in the downtown core. We want to assure the community that these vulnerable people will not be the focus of our attention."
John Clerides, who owns Marquis Wine Cellars, says the redeployment of VPD officers is a start.
“It’s about time,” he said. “Beat cops are maybe a thing of the past but they certainly did work.”
Clerides is one of many business owners frustrated by what’s happened on Davie Street.
Last week, thieves smashed the front window of his business and stole an e-bike worth about $6,000. He says the criminals, captured on video surveillance, only needed about 20 seconds to get the job done.
He says it’s just one example of what’s been happening in the neighbourhood. He says businesses have seen “storefront break-ins, windows being smashed, jewelry taken, bikes stolen, product taken.”
Mel Smith is a long-time resident who says he’s scared at the changes in the community.
“It’s just become so violent,” Smith said. “There’s so much garbage and trash everywhere.”
“I’m disabled. I don’t feel safe here at night or anytime.”
Ron Moore, who is homeless, says he stays away from crime but knows it’s how others survive.
“When you’re out on the street, you got no food, you got no money, you got no dope. So then you start kicking in windows," he said.
Similar measures were put in place downtown last fall. During that 42-day period, according to police, there were 1,400 calls and 210 weapons seized.
Earlier this year, officers launched another crackdown following a 260 per cent increase in violent shoplifting incidents, which resulted in 130 arrests in about 40 days.
As the latest initiative rolls out, officers are reminding the public that any in-progress incidents or those that put someone's health and safety at risk should be reported to 911.
If there are no safety concerns and the suspect has left the scene of a less serious crime, those incidents can be reported online or through the VPD's non-emergency line.
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The Canadian government has quietly lifted its advisory against non-essential international travel, marking the first time since March 2020 that the notice has been lifted. 'Be aware that although you are better protected against serious illness if you are vaccinated, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19,' the updated advisory states.
Search resumes for potential unmarked graves outside former hospital that treated Indigenous patients
A search prompted by ground-penetrating radar is resuming again on land in Edmonton that houses a former hospital where Indigenous patients suffered abuse.
Edward Rogers is out as board chair of Rogers Communications Inc., a move that comes as the latest development in a boardroom drama that has prompted the departure of a senior executive and the launch of an executive oversight committee.
Queen Elizabeth II spent a night in a hospital for checks this week after cancelling an official trip to Northern Ireland on medical advice, Buckingham Palace said Thursday. The palace said the 95-year-old monarch went to the private King Edward VII's Hospital in London on Wednesday for 'preliminary investigations.'
Canadian propane prices are skyrocketing alongside natural gas due, in large part, to growing demand from overseas markets, a price surge analysts say will have a big impact on rural Canadians this winter.
The FBI's Denver office said Thursday that remains found a day earlier in a Florida nature reserve are those of Brian Laundrie, who disappeared last month just days after his fiance Gabby Petito was reported missing.
It appears one B.C. hatchery program is off to a promising start, by the size of the Chinook salmon they’ve been pulling in from the Wannock River near Bella Bella.
The federal government has announced a suite of changes to the popular income and business support programs put in place during the pandemic and set to expire on Saturday. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland reminded Canadians on Thursday that the measures were always intended to be 'temporary.'
A woman has been killed and a man injured Thursday after they were shot by a prop firearm at a movie set outside Santa Fe, authorities said.
Health officials identified 61 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Thursday as hundreds of coronavirus cases remain active in the region.
An expected 'cyclone bomb' has emergency responders bracing for an increase in activity as the storm moves onto Vancouver Island Thursday and into the weekend.
A whale-watching guide on Vancouver Island has been fined thousands of dollars for getting too close to a pod of orcas.
Coun. Sean Chu defies calls to step down despite outrage over admitted sexual contact with teenage girl
Embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu said during a press conference on Thursday that he will not resign.
Election officials have denied four separate requests for recounts for Monday's civic election, including in Ward 4, the race that re-elected Coun. Sean Chu.
The man wanted in the accused homicide of Calgary's John Smith is now in police custody.
Alberta county star Corb Lund is not backing down on his fight against coal mining in Alberta’s eastern slopes - as he enlisted some help in a new protest video.
Alberta reported 770 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday as pressure on the health care system starts to ease.
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake shook central Alberta Wednesday night.
Capacity limits on restaurants and gyms in Ontario could be lifted next Monday, as the Ford government considers new measures for establishments that require proof of vaccination certificates, sources say.
Nephew of former 'Dragons' Den' star who 'inadvertently' shot and killed best friend pleads guilty to manslaughter
A Caledon man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after he accidentally shot and killed his best friend with a machine gun at his uncle’s home in 2018.
Prayers and pain at funeral for 17-year-old girl killed crossing intersection near Scarborough school
Her death is being described as an excruciating loss. The emotion during the service, held at the Islamic Research Centre of Canada, was overwhelming and raw.
A doctor and McGill professor stopped in a no-parking zone in Mount-Royal on Tuesday. It ended with police entering his home, handcuffing him and dragging him out the door in front of his daughters, he says.
An Indigenous land acknowledgement from the Montreal Canadiens last week sent shockwaves through Quebec, with bipartisan backlash from politicians who called the Habs' statement false.
Local and provincial police officers recovered four guns during a raid in a residence in Ville St-Laurent, a borough in northern Montreal.
A doctor from Ste. Anne Manitoba is now facing 22 counts of sexual assault after police laid additional charges.
The number of direct-care workers in the province who are on unpaid leave continues to grow.
Following a manhunt that spanned two days, Manitoba RCMP arrested a suspect deemed a high risk to the general public.
On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan government released its COVID-19 data and modelling which projects what the coming weeks and months could look like in a province that currently has the highest coronavirus-related death rate in Canada.
Indoor gathering limits for private and public events must be implemented immediately as a public health order, according to the Saskatchewan Medical Association.
Two more Saskatchewan residents have died of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths related to the virus to 800.
The Saskatchewan government released a statement Thursday morning saying social media posts about ICU patient transfers should be “disregarded” following immense confusion among doctors and officials over planned ICU patient transfers to Ontario.
Regina police have launched an investigation into the city’s 11th homicide of 2021.
The Saskatchewan government has confirmed that three additional ICU patients will be transferred to Ontario over the next three days, bringing the number of patients sent out of province to nine.
N.B. reports 2 more deaths related to COVID-19 as death toll surpasses 100; extends circuit-breaker for 7 days
Two more New Brunswickers have died as a result of COVID-19, raising the death toll in the province to 101 since the pandemic began. The province also extended circuit breaker measures for seven days.
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 recoveries on Thursday, as the number of active cases in the province drops to 163.
Two Nova Scotia students who spent eight months fighting to be repaid rent after they departed their mouse-infested apartment say their case emphasizes the need for legal reforms to protect tenants.
Sarnia, Ont.’s mayor is calling on the federal government to remove costly COVID-19 testing as a requirement for Canadians returning to Canada from the United States.
After a nearly two days of delays, Const. Stephen Williams tendered his resignation to the London Police Service effective Nov. 22.
A serious two-vehicle collision closed Highbury Avenue near Manning Drive on Thursday afternoon.
Highway 11 has reopened after a diesel spill that closed the highway and forced evacuations
Jaymie-Lyne Hancock lost her brother DJ seven years ago in a crash involving a drunk driver.
A group of community advocates plan to gather outside Sault Ste. Marie city hall to demand action on the continuing overdose crisis in the city.
Cambridge woman outraged after MPP Randy Hillier falsely claims her sister died due to COVID-19 vaccine
A Cambridge woman is outraged after MPP Randy Hillier falsely claimed her sister died as a result of a COVID-19 vaccine.
A 62-year-old St. Marys resident has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the death of a baby more than 35 years ago.
A major road connecting Kitchener and Cambridge has reopened following a fatal crash early Thursday morning.