FC On Line
by Dick Freeman
Editorial Opinion Column
A City of Crime and Violence
Is this a place where Tourists would want to go?
Victoria, A city of Drugs and Crime - Friday, November 12, 2010
Why would any tourists want to come to Victoria, when police's hands are tried by homelessness, crack-heads, and then those junkies who don't give a dam about where they leave their dirty needles. Victoria Police say they've seen an increase in used, dirty needles on the 900 block of Pandora Avenue, and the surrounding area. Police allege part of the problem stems from Pandora Pharmacy, a small storefront and methadone clinic that Police say is exchanging needles. No one from Pandora Pharmacy wanted to comment on the story. The Vancouver Island Health Authority says the Pharmacy owners are within their rights, but are they. while others in the community are pointing out they are breaking the law with this so called harm reduction initiative, that local home owners say is not needed in their community. What you have are a bunch of idealistic, socialists' in the Heath authority, who think handing out needles is going to help the community, when in fact it doesn't do anyone any good including, home owners and St. Andrews school, where young children have to put up with dirty needles laying around everywhere. "Do we have to take a look at security measures at home? People think it's an unfortunate reality, that comes out of an area where drug users run rampant in the streets, and it gets down to the local level now," where the Police and the City of Victoria have to do something to clean up the streets from these drug users.
Also See: Children being Attacked on the Streets of Victoria BC - Monday, November 01, 2010
This story takes place on Vancouver Island, on the streets of Victoria, where you would imagine seeing a small city, those quiet neighborhoods', parents walking with their children to school or even those walking late at night with their pets.
Where friendly faces of people are greeting others on their way to work or from a leisurely stroll in their neighborhood, where everyone is suppose to feel safe from crime, but is it really safe in the streets of Victoria?
It time the truth is told…..
Victoria has changed drastically over the past 20 years that I have lived here, off and on for 50 years, and has become a cess-pool of crime and violence, with the buying and selling of drugs through out the city, more so, after the sun has gone down. Police cars can be heard at all hours of the night, with their sirens blazing away, while they are racing to the next call... hardly the image of a quite touristy town of ‘newly weds and retired’.
The City of Victoria Core
In the many years that have come forward in Victoria, there have been dark elements of criminals roaming the streets with seeming immunity from police, and state.
Drug dealers who rampantly providing drugs to anyone who’s willing to buy their goods. We’ve seen huge increases in homelessness, (both those that want off the street and those who want to remain while preying on other unfortunate people in the same boat), prostitution, brawls, crack heads and junkies littering the nooks and crannies of both public and private property.
A 15 year child named Justin Wayne Wendland is stabbed in broad daylight at a Victoria bus stop by a well know drug user who also had mental health issues. Police rushed to the scene after monitoring an ambulance dispatch of an assault in progress at around 8 p.m. on that Thursday. The boy was found bleeding profusely from a stab wound to the torso. "The victim was immediately rushed to hospital with critical injuries but tragically did not survive. "The so called 39-year-old suspect who later gave himself up to police is known while the police have identified him as Cory Daniel Barry. Even our children are at risk every day on the streets of Victoria even waiting for a bus.
You will see them (drug users, homeless) on most street corners, night and day, either shooting up or smoking their crack, or those pan-handling, or standing in the road with their squeegees, violating traffic etiquette and in some cases putting people’s lives at risk, as well as their own.
There is change on the streets of Victoria. Addicts have a new drug of choice moving from heroin to crack cocaine. BC's Centre for Addictions Research says it is not a good move. The centre says it means an increase in mental illness leaving downtown Victoria a sicker and more unstable place. The Centre for Addictions Research says addicts are making the switch to cocaine and crack because the drugs are readily accessible and cheap.
The upside down world they live in, does has a up side, and that is fewer deaths due to overdose, but the VIHA says the more popular psychotropic drugs present their own challenges with an increase in Hepatitis. There is also the issue of psychosis. Users can often spend days without sleep putting them in a delirious state; a scene which has lead to downtown Victoria not being safe
Many who love the Cess-pool of crime they fester in.
I’ve lost count of how many times that my children and I were on our way down town to shop or as a parent picking my kids up from their school and had these undesirable crack heads try to stop my family on the streets, out in the open, as police cars go by, trying to peddle their crack and other drugs to myself and my children, as officers look the other way..
And now the police and the City of Victoria elected officals, want us tax payers to believe this political mandate they are pushing, will solve the problem of the druggys and homelessness" off the Pandora Street, will make Victoria’s streets safer somehow. What they in City hall and the police should have done a long time ago, was set up an operation called "Clean Sweep", and get these people off the streets or sent them back to where they came from in other provinces and let the mayor's there deal with their own.
What has the City of Victoria done to make us feel safe!
The City of Victoria's new Bylaw would make boulevards and medians no-camping zones. With about a dozen poverty activists looking on, as city councillors decided to support an amendment to the city's streets and traffic bylaw, prohibiting camping in road allowances, becuase of safety issues.
Safety issues? What about all the other area's that people live, isn't their safety issues there also.
Just look at how those campers' mess at $30,000 to clean up after them, at tax payers expense is making more money being wasted.
Coun. Philippe Lucas was against the bylaw. "I won't be supporting this motion because I honestly believe it will fail to address for the better the issues faced by residents, by businesses and by the individuals currently living on Pandora Green," Lucas said.
Even Philippe Lucas doesn't get it as what about all the other neighborhoods.
In the past two years since Our Place opened, and in the wake of a 2008 B.C. Supreme Court decision striking down the city's prohibition on camping in parks, the 900-block of Pandora has become a focal point for drug use and dealing, homeless camping and prostitution. Police calls to the area have skyrocketed and residents and businesses worry their neighborhood is being ghettoized. Now these people will be pushed right back into those back yards and the crazy cycle starts all over again, with the crime getting worse in some area's.
Will it ever end? Not in my Life time!
In the darkness of night, like vampires seeking out their blood thirst for their next quick fix, while later staggering in the middle of the roads, screeching like banshee’s, rolling on the ground or passing out under cars in parking lots, where needles and drug paraphernalia are left everywhere, along with their urinating and leaving feces about, in the streets, parks, and on private property, wherever they deem to go!
People are to believe that we’re safe on our streets.
Today, with all this political posturing has left a bad taste in my mouth, when it comes to elected officials’, mandating a do nothing policy; yes elected civil serpents, who rather not uphold the laws created, already in place in legislation. Instead they claim setting up needle exchanges is going to solve the problems, with open hard core drug use in the streets. Outright craziness!
You might as well say those political nincompoops’ are drug dealers themselves, for letting this issue get so out of hand, for so many years and yet, they can’t figure out, they created the problem like all government do, with their own self servering needs to come first. All that money, that they collect of tax payers and it isn't even their money.
They should be rounding up these people and holding the courts to accountable in making sure they get off the streets, and house them in mental institutions’, if that is an underlying issue.
In the Times Colonist news paper, the Police say Victoria is not a dangerous place, despite ranking as Canada's second most crime-ridden city, according to McClains magazine. After a conference of the finest minds within the Victoria Police department, they responded by stating the statistics are skewed by 'core city syndrome'.
One could say that about any city, as every city has “a core”. Furthermore, if the problem is so concentrated, how does that make it harder to survey activities and arrest the main culprits within? Seems that this would make life much easier from a law enforcement strategy; unless of course your focus is on revenue - cash forced, for all intent and purpose, at the barrel of a gun from those not wearing seatbelts, traveling with expired licenses or not wearing bike helmets, etc., in other words people who are in reality just going about their business freely, without any malice towards anyone. Could this be the core problem?
Also according to Sgt. Grant Hamilton, he states, "It's safe to walk downtown, you can go for dinner and go to a movie and you're safe - it's a safe city." Wonder if his wife feels the same when she’s alone? Well as long as he’s feeling safe… I guess the rest of us should just take a pill and see things though rose colored glasses, like they want us to do.
VicPD are now saying the increase in violence in the downtown core is the result of a legal substance readily available at hundreds of locations. Victoria Police say they have seen a growing increase in violence, but they attribute much of that to alcohol use. Either way, the violence is growing in the streets and it doesn't change the fact that the streets of Victoria are not safe as police want us all to beleive..There talking out of both sides of their mouths.
“Priority One” calls to police
Why is Sgt. Grant Hamilton not talking about the “Priority One” calls.
Where new statistics presented to the Victoria Police Board show the over all number of calls for service this year is down, but the number of what the department calls 'PRIORITY ONE' calls is way up. Isn’t that a concern, as for the first eight months this year, that January through August, Victoria and Esquimalt combined had more then 34 thousand calls for police. Down 4.6 per cent from the last period last year, but those that involved immediate threat to life and safety were up 6.2 per cent. The survey's top 10 worst crime offenders - as measured in part by incidents of homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, breaking and entering, and auto theft - are all west of Winnipeg.
Victoria should get a black eye in the ranking, but using this excuse of "core city syndrome," where the downtown draws people from the suburbs, which are other municipalities with other police forces. Isn’t that the blame game that used all to often!
Didn’t Sgt. Grant Hamilton say, "It's safe to walk downtown”, it’s like he is talking out of both sides of his mouth? I guess walking down Pandora street isn’t something the police want to talk about, or the increase of drug trafficking in all our quiet neighborhoods,' that the Mayor and City Counselors’ want to remain mom on, that makes our streets unsafe in the first place..
The VicPD also claimed that the jumble of municipalities and police forces can mean that Victoria's crimes are “skewed” when compared with other big urban areas, such as Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa, which have just one municipality with one police force. "In the downtown core, we have all the entertainment, all the nightclubs, a large majority of the halfway homes, the social services and low-income housing, the addiction services - we're obviously a focal point for some of the marginalized population," said Hamilton.
Oh please, Is this a cause or an excuse?
Hamilton said, Victoria police also encourages the public to report crimes as minor as vehicle break-ins, whereas other Canadian departments do not. "We want to get an accurate reflection of where crime is happening,". Is that really true? No, not from where i'm standing, and what I have personally been told and found, is that police will not show up for those many minor crimes, and have stated to me personally over the years, that they don’t have the man power or money to deal with these minor issues. "What is happening is home-owners are now getting together and policing their own neighbourhoods". And runnnig the drug users and drug dealers out of their area.
So what I find strange is how police can find time to set up road blocks, with the new laws that allow confiscation of cars without due process of law. It should not be the job of the police to have to harass people and act as roadside prosecuting counsel, judge and jury and impose thinly veiled so-called "administrative" penalties with little right of appeal. Yes, police so concerned about whether people are wearing bike helmets, or police handing out jay walking tickets in the downtown core, that is sounds like making the money for city hall, is all that counts.
Shouldn't the police's focus to be on cleaning up this mess, that has been left for too long and gotten out of control by the Mayor office who mandates the police to do nothing policy, and make the streets unsafe for everyone.
It has to be noted that Maclean's said a "complex combination of social problems, unemployment, sexual and physical abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse" were the likely contributors to high urban crime rates.
So with all these social issues cropping up right in our own neighborhoods and if this being the cause, why hasn’t any of the elected officals in governments done anything decent to correct the problems, in the first place. Other then making bandage solutions that lead to worse problems later on, while misusing using tax payer money for whatever they want to use it for.
It’s like them asking for “Order out of Chaos” to complete some task further to bring about a police state first, so some more laws can be created to abuse law abiding citizen’s, while there are laws already on the books for those criminal elements on the streets, who are taking advantage of public officials doing nothing to them.
Even in the mainstream media, the fringe criminal element on the streets are now dictating government policy on what they want! Talk about off the wall.........
The Canadian West's crime problem appeared to be "entrenched," and it is like that due to ignorance from the political potato heads in office more concerned about their own lust for power and greed, rather then getting to the root of the problem as it has been for years.
In a statement on its website, Maclean's said it obtained annual crime data from Statistics Canada for municipal police services serving the nation's 100 largest populations, each encompassing a city or town of at least 10,000 people.
Using 2009 rates per 100,000 people for six crimes-homicides, sexual assault, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, robbery plus breaking and entering-in each area, Maclean's calculated the percentage difference from the national rate. The overall crime score ranking for the 100 communities was created in consultation with StatsCan, using its Crime Severity Index (CSI) score and calculating the percentage difference from the national CSI score.
So if the police and government want to complain about what Maclean's news service has to say in crime stats, maybe they the police and City of Victoria's mayor's office should be doing more to stop crimes, instead of ignoring the problems, and giving in to black mail by street people who pay no taxes.....
Do they really beleive handing out needles and crack pipes to druggies or setting up needle exchanges and not telling the public where they are putting those needle exchanges are going to get people on side.
The city's only fixed needle exchange on Cormorant Street was evicted by its private-sector landlord in 2008 after ongoing complaints from neighbors' about problems such as loitering, public disturbances, discarded needles, and urination and defecation in doorways and on private property. Proposals for permanent needle-distribution sites on Pandora Avenue and Princess Street were also shelved because of community fears the failed Cormorant scenario would be repeated.
CRACK COCAINE USE UP IN VICTORIA
Lured by price and convenience, Victoria's drug addicts are swapping heroin for crack cocaine, says a report by the Centre for Addictions Research B.C. The result has been fewer drug deaths, but a marked increase in mental illness, says the report.
"We're getting more crazy people on the streets of Victoria and fewer dead people,"
There's also fewer cases of HIV and hepatitis C. Since crack is smoked, rather than injected, "there's less spread of bloodborne viruses." Victoria's trend towards crack is "worrying," said Walter Cavalieri, director of the Toronto-based Canadian Harm Reduction Network. Due to crack, downtown Victoria is poised to become a much sicker and unstable place, he said. With heroin as the drug of choice, downtown Victoria's addicts were largely drowsy and slow-gaited. Now, these same users are finding themselves hooked on a powerful stimulant that prompts aggression and paranoia which lead to more violence.
"Whether it's heroin or coke or crack, we will see a certain level of violence among street communities," said Sgt. Grant Hamilton, spokesperson for VicPD. As a result, crack users will be much more prone to commit petty crimes to support their mounting addictions. Thefts from parked vehicles could also be expected to climb, said Hamilton. Aside from its lower price, users may be lured to crack because of its ease-of-use. Heroin users need to tote around an ample collection of drug paraphernalia including needles, shoelaces, water and cotton balls. Crack users, on the other hand, only need a pipe and a lighter. "We're not hearing from the street community that there's a lack of clean needles," said Hamilton.
The Bottom line is, too many excuses have been given and played out in the mainstream media, by police and the useless mayor's office, and this is why the City of Victoria is a Cess-Pool of Crime and Violence... I'm Dick Freeman and and this is my view.....
To go to those stats that Maclean's wrote about click here
On the Other side of Crimes you have the VicPD slammed in report about police violence and abuse
- video of report on police violence and jail beatings
Victoria is not the place for violent police officers who use excessive force
But to be fair to the VicPD here are their stats
Neighbourhood crime stats added to police report
Checking out neighborhood crime statistics is now as easy as pressing a computer key for Victoria and Esquimalt residents. Crime figures in all areas of the two municipalities are contained in the Victoria Police Department's annual report, which for the second straight year is online and interactive. The 2009 report was released and is available online at vicpd.ca. The neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood crime figures have been added in response to suggestions following last year's offering. The neighbourhood crimes covered are break-and-enters, assaults, sexual assaults, vehicle thefts, bicycle thefts and thefts from vehicles.
Note: - According to the VicPD they say:
"We continued to focus on our priorities of suppressing violent crime, reducing property crime, reducing street disorder and investing in our own people."
See video Above as this seems another veil atempt to shift blame.
Police report criticizes prosecutors
Identification procedures branded ridiculous by Victoria chief
By Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist October 16, 2010
Police in Victoria face problems arising from decisions in the city's Crown prosecution office,
according to the Bevan report released yesterday.
As he laid out his recommendations into how the police department can improve jail-cell operations and use-of-force tactics, retired Ottawa police chief Vince Bevan suggested officers should be able to arrest and release lawbreakers here.
Victoria police Chief Jamie Graham explained that in other jurisdictions in B.C. police can issue someone breaking the law a promise to appear back at the station for fingerprinting and photographs and carry on with their patrolling.
But in Victoria, police must take those people back to the station themselves for identification despite the fact it's a criminal offence not to appear,
"Crown counsel in Victoria won't charge people for failing to appear for fingerprinting," Graham said. "It's ridiculous."
The reason for the difference between Victoria and Vancouver is different municipalities work out different arrangements with the Crown -- in this case, Bevan said, the arrangement is clearly not working because the Victoria police department has to dedicate limited front-line police resources to fingerprinting and photographing when they should be on the street.
"Strikes me as being odd the level of service being provided in Vancouver is different than the level of service offered in Victoria," said Bevan. "In a provincial system, why would that be?"
Robin Baird, acting communications counsel, said yesterday he was in the midst of investigating the accuracy of the statements in Bevan's report and would be unable to comment immediately.
In 2009, there were 7,343 prisoners kept in Victoria's cells.
Of those, 1,157 were from other police agencies that either don't have detention facilities or are overcrowded, or from the sheriff's department, which uses Victoria's cells to house people in custody for court appearances.
The report recommends negotiations with other agencies to have them place their inmates elsewhere. A regional jail is a possibility for discussion, Bevan agreed.
The Victoria jail cells were not designed for and therefore, don't provide the amenities needed for prisoners staying longer than 24 hours, Bevan said. As well, of the 2,216 people who were arrested for public intoxication in 2009 -- an average of about six a day -- there is a core of up to 30 chronic
alcoholics who are thrown in Victoria's jail cells regularly.
Kevin John Vigar, who died in Victoria's police cells on June, 27, 2009, had been arrested 87 times for public intoxication. That points to a need for a referral and treatment option, otherwise
alcoholics become "regular clients" of the jail, Bevan said.
Police in B.C. have the power under the Offence Act, sections 91 and 92, to send chronic alcoholics to treatment and rehabilitation. However, those provisions don't apply to Victoria.
Victoria needs "to build a business case to persuade provincial authorities that provisions contained in the B.C. Offence Act be authorized for use in this jurisdiction," says the report.
"It's a huge issue," said Graham of the number of drunks Victoria police deal with each day.
Officers have taken these severely intoxicated people to the Sobering and Assessment Centre, a 20-bed facility that offers shelter and assessment of inebriated clients for less than 24 hours, but they have been refused entry because they are "too drunk."
Bevan agreed this is a problem and suggested the Victoria police work with the centre and the emergency department at Royal Jubilee Hospital concerning handling chronic alcoholics.
Fran Findlay, of the sobering centre, could not be reached for comment.
If inebriated individuals seem to be experiencing medical or mental health issues, police can admit those individuals to the emergency department or the Psychiatric Emergency Service (Archie Courtnall Centre) at Royal Jubilee hospital for assessment, said Shannon Marshall, spokeswoman for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
VIHA currently operates a total of 78 beds for adult addictions treatment in Greater Victoria including detox, stabilization, sobering and supportive recovery beds.