Double-digit decline in violent and property crime stats in past 2 years

Recent statistics from the Vancouver Police Department suggest violent and property crime rates are down 16% and 17% respectively this year compared to two years ago. Other 2008 Vancouver trends this year to date over 2006 include:

  • Shots fired incidents – down 83%
  • Home invasions – down 76%
  • Robberies – down 18%
  • Theft from automobiles – down 27%
  • Theft of vehicle – down 33%
  • Residential break & enters – down 13%
  • Commercial break & enters – down 15%

In a memo last week to City Council, Mayor Sam Sullivan thanked the men and women of VPD for the role they are playing to help prevent and reduce crime in our city. In media interviews he said rates were still too high and he hopes recent investments for over 100 new VPD officers and the provincial government’s commitment to reopening Riverview will help even more.

Mayor Sullivan and VPD Chief Jim Chu also released a new national report on federal policing this week. It concludes that municipal property taxpayers in Canada are subsidizing federal law enforcement activities to the tune of more than $500 million/year.

The new report from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities shows municipalities have seen their share of RCMP contract policing costs rise dramatically over the last 20 years – while municipal police forces have had to take on more traditional federal enforcement roles. In Vancouver this means requirements associated with:

  • port policing
  • 2010 preparations & Olympic Security
  • international drug trade
  • cyber crime
  • human trafficking
  • non-returnable warrants (Con Air)

The report makes two recommendations:

  1. special panel to review the existing distribution of policing functions
  2. $507 million annual compensation to municipal governments to pay for the additional police services they must provide – pending this review

In British Columbia, this would represent an annual federal contribution of over $34 million to municipal police forces – with more than half ($18.9 million) coming to Vancouver. This report complements the one released earlier this year by the VPD that documented the increased amount of municipal police resources that were being invested to help people with mental illness on our streets.