VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver Police say they’re inching closer towards their goal of reducing violent crime by more than 12 per cent by 2016. Historically, officers were dealing with two homicides a month, but that number has dropped considerably thanks to targeted initiatives focusing on organized crime and gangs.
Not only is crime down, but the solve rate is up. So far this year there have been four murders and two of them have already been solved.
“We’re making it very uncomfortable for gangs to do business here. We have programs such as BarWatch, Restaurant Watch and [Project] Sister Watch and our goal is to not only reduce homicides but all violent crime,” says Constable Brian Montague.
He adds violent crimes, which include: stabbings, robberies, attempted murders, assaults and sex assaults are also down year over year since 2006. Montague also credits a zero-tolerance policy towards thugs for improving these numbers.
“If we walk into a bar or a restaurant and there’s a known gang member, the police have the ability to walk up to them and ask them to leave. If they’re not congregating in large groups, especially where alcohol is involved, there’s a far less risk of there being gun violence.”
As hopeful as the VPD are to cut crime altogether, he knows it’s unrealistic. “In reducing violent crime in general we’re hoping to also reduce those non-gang related homicides as well. It’s a challenge, there’s no doubt about it and part of that is having high solve rates — making sure that people know that if they’re going to committ a crime in Vancouver then they’re going to get caught and they’re going to go to jail.”
He says the drop in incidents is something the force is proud of and that they hope to continue in the coming years. “It goes to show some of the dedication and hard work of our investigators and the persistance. We hope that we can continue to drop those violent crime rates, drop the homicide rates and those solve rates stay high.”
VPD Crime Statistics
There were 15 in 2011 — 11 solved (solve rate 73 per cent)
There were 8 in 2012 — 6 solved (solve rate 75 per cent)
There have been 4 in 2013 — 2 solved (50 per cent)
Violent crimes are down 7 per cent compared with last year and that includes homicides, shootings, stabbings, robberies, assaults and sex assaults.
Violent crime was down 7.4 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011
Violent crime was down 1.5 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010
Violent crime was down 5.6 per cent compared to 2009