VPD riot suspects site gets 800,000 page views
Published Wednesday, August 31, 2011 1:28PM PDT
Vancouver police say the website set up to help identify Stanley Cup riot suspects has already fetched more than 800,000 page views and generated 140 new tips.
Const. Jana McGuinness said the riot2011.vpd.ca site started receiving thousands of hits per hour immediately after launching on Tuesday, and investigators have already received eight new suspect names to confirm.
Arrangements are being made for other suspects who wish to turn themselves in, McGuinness added.
The site currently features photos of 40 suspected rioters for identification.
The Vancouver Police Department's 50-member riot investigation team has identified 259 separate criminal events stemming from the June 15 riot, and 268 suspects.
The department has also collected 1,600 hours of video footage to be reviewed.
But police have come under fire for the lack of swift charges following the night of violent mayhem. More than two months after the riot, only two people have yet been charged, both in connection with a stabbing in downtown Vancouver.
Edgar Ricardo Garcia of Burnaby was charged with aggravated assault in the attack. Joshua Lyle Evans was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, though the stabbing victim later said Evans was actually trying to intervene in the stabbing.
By comparison, authorities in London have already charged 1,000 suspects in the Aug. 6 riots that spread to multiple cities over four nights.
The VPD's handling of Vancouver's riot is among the issues probed in an independent review co-chaired by former VANOC CEO John Furlong. The review's findings are being released on Thursday.