Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Posts Tagged ‘civic stupidity

Three downtown streets identified as hot spots

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Downtown Ambassadors

Photo by Mordechai Dangerfield on flickr


The three streets in the city’s downtown business improvement area were identified recently as crime hot spots in city assessments to determine the need for expansion of the Downtown Ambassadors Program.

Vancouver city hall is recommending that council adopt a one-year $237,000 contract with the Downtown Business Improvement Association to extend the program.

The three streets are Granville, Georgia and Robson. They are “hot spots” because of people identified as “druggies, panhandlers and rough sleepers”. In fact the same people fit all three “categories”. And the Ambassadors do nothing more than move them along to another street somewhere else. They do nothing to solve the problem.

This is the same approach that failed with street prostitution.

And it is promoted by the same mindset that sees the needle exchange and the safe injection site as causes of more “problems”. And is not going to work this time any more than it has worked in the past.

Of course the customers of downtown businesses do not like seeing reminders of how useless our social policies are. The failures are societal, not just of the individuals who find they can only cope with adversity though self medication.

The problem has been growing steadily. The Tyee recently showed how inadequate even an apparently simple count of those affected was recently. And the response has been – from all levels of government – totally inadequate. But shows no sign of change. $237,000 might provide a few beds for a few nights. Or some dry socks. But the City and the BIA would rather chivvy people than help them.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 15, 2008 at 7:00 am

Posted in criminality, poverty

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