VPD plans to curb Granville violence
Vancouver police are promising a crackdown on violence in the downtown entertainment district.
Insp. Warren Lemcke, the police commander for the downtown district, told the Straight that clubgoers can expect more weekend patrols this summer and significant increases in fines for disorderly conduct.
"A fine for being drunk in public is $58," Lemcke said. "It's ridiculous. To quote one of my young members, that's a round of drinks."
In May 2003, the City permitted certain bars and nightclubs in Vancouver to extend weekend hours of operation. Ever since then, problems associated with the later hours have compromised public and officer safety in the downtown area, according to a Vancouver city staff report.
Sgt. Curtis Robinson, a patrol officer for the Granville Street area, told the Straight that there has been progress in bringing downtown nightlife under control but that more must be done. A big part of the VPD's new strategy involves working closely with bar owners and managers of individual establishments.
"It doesn't matter who you are; it doesn't matter if you're rich or famous," Robinson said. "If you're going to act up, you're not welcome."
Robinson suggested that banning troublesome patrons from the entire entertainment district could soon be one solution to problems of disorder. He explained that once a patron is evicted from one bar for fighting, that patron might not be permitted to enter any nighttime entertainment establishment for a set period of time.