Is there a crime wave during the coronavirus pandemic?
Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer reported a 30% increase in robberies with knives, when he appeared at the April 16 police board meeting. He also said business break-ins have jumped 86% during the pandemic.
Just two days later, on April 18, a reader cycling on the Dunsmuir Viaduct captured a drug bust as-it-happened. Several marked and unmarked VPD vehicles surrounded a small car. Two men were arrested, including one wearing what appeared to be the type of medical mask that is in short supply during the coronavirus pandemic.
VPD media officer Sgt. Aaron Roed said police were called about two men trafficking around Expo Boulevard and Carrall Street.
They were arrested around 8 p.m. and the contraband seized under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Roed said the file was submitted to Crown counsel, but declined to say what type of drug the two were peddling. The driver emerged from the vehicle wearing the mask. The arresting officers did not have any facial protection.
The two men arrested were released on an undertaking with conditions.
Meanwhile, the VPD mobile surveillance camera unit was set-up outside the Chinese Cultural Centre on Pender Street. Roed said VPD has contacted business and community leaders in Chinatown to educate them on preventing property crime.
“I do not have the number of specific incidents right now, but there has not been any arrests at this time,” Roed said by email. “The camera is an excellent deterrent for keeping criminal activity out of areas that it is deployed.”
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- Looking for information on how to keep yourself and others healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic? Do you have symptoms? Click here for all you need to know, from HealthLinkBC.