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Vancouver's mild weather attracts chronic offenders

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Mild weather, mental illness, and drug addiction.

Those are among the reasons Vancouver police give for the high number of chronic offenders in the city.

Vancouver’s mayor is among the people wondering why the city has this many chronic offenders.

Officially, the Chronic Offender Unit is keeping track of 345 people, but police say it could be as high as 800 if they used the standard definition.

Sergeant Bill Pake says drugs and mental illness are among the reasons for the high number.

“I think we do have a huge number of mentally ill and addicted people within our city, and we have to deal with the fact they are here,” says Pake.

Police say close to 90 per cent of chronic offenders are male, and two thirds don’t have a regular home.

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Mentally ill Canadian citizens should be able to live where ever in Canada they want to, just like everyone else. So what if they move to BC because the weather is better than in the rest of Canada? I know very few people who were born in BC, most opted to move here because of the milder climate. ‘ Vancouver’s mayor is among the people wondering why the city has this many offenders’ – how many are we talking about and compared with where else? Sure, mentally ill individuals can contribute to social ills in a city, but from my perspective (being relatively new to Vancouver), the majority of serious crime here that i have witnessed or been privy to via media, is mainly to do with gang drug culture. There are so many homeless people wandering around Vancouver, surely a solution that would go a long way to helping fix ‘petty’ crime in this city would be to provide more shelters and independent living for these people, rather than spending money creating bike lanes that seem empty most of the time. Maybe then, they could stop breaking into cars to knick a pair of sunglasses they can sell on the streets for a couple of bucks.

January 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm