Vancouver considering new tools to fine brawlers on Granville Strip
The City of Vancouver is looking at new tools to help recover costs from brawlers on the bustling Granville Strip.
While the city already has a bylaw against fighting in public, collecting the money can be tough because people have learned "ramifications are minimal," according to a motion going before council Tuesday.
That's because unlike speeding tickets and other Motor Vehicle Act offences, the city can’t use unpaid fighting fines to stop people from renewing their driver's licence or car insurance.
Vancouver can send individual brawlers to collections, but staff said the process would cost more than the city would make in ticket revenue.
To help collect fines and recover the costs of fighting, Tuesday's motion suggests the city explore new policies or even ask the B.C. government to amend provincial legislation to give Vancouver's no-fighting bylaw more teeth.
It also suggests looking into whether the city can "associate outstanding fines" with a person's credit rating.
According to the motion, the overwhelming majority of all fighting fines issued in the city happen in the Granville Entertainment District. Two-thirds of the police calls received in the area between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays involve people who live outside the city limits.
The city said people who are homeless or struggling with debilitating mental illness are not typically the ones dinged with tickets for fighting on the Granville Strip.