2014 crime spikes blamed on small group of drug-addicts

Vancouver property crime, commercial break and enters and theft from vehicles jumped in 2014, something that police are blaming on a small number of drug-addicted chronic criminals.

According to the Year-end 2014 Key Performance Indicator Report presented at the Vancouver Police Department’s board meeting on Feb. 19, between 2013 and 2014, property crime increased by 9.5 per cent, commercial break and enters increased by 27 per cent and theft from vehicles increased by 20.5 per cent. Deputy Chief Constable Doug LePard said that this is due to a small number of drug addicted people.

“We can actually track when our most prolific offenders are in custody property crime rates go down, when they’re out they go up,” LePard said. “I would say virtually all of [property crime and theft of auto increase] is driven by drug addiction.”

This is due to the quick money that can be made by selling stolen product, which feeds their addiction.

“They’re gonna feed their habit by stealing and selling the property for 10 cents on the dollar and then buying the crack cocaine and crystal meth,” said Chief Constable Jim Chu. “It’s a stimulant, then you can repeat the cycle again and again.”

This cycle continues because of short sentences for low level property crime said LePard. These short sentences do not allow addicts to receive any meaningful treatment.

“It’s not about wanting to punish them,” LePard said. “It’s about the fact that their sentences are too short for them to get any treatment so they come out just as addicted as when they go in.”

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