Vancouver police ramp up efforts targeting property crime spike in Downtown Vancouver

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      While Vancouver police have noticed a reduction in calls for service in recent weeks during the pandemic, there is one area of crime that is notably increasing.

      The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) reported today (March 26) that although overall property crime in the city has decreased by 12 percent compared to weeks prior to the pandemic, there have been some specific areas of increase.

      In the two-week period from March 1 to 15, a total of 86 commercial break-ins were reported across the city. However, within one week from March 16 to 24, there were 81 break-ins.

      Narrowed down by location, the largest jump took place in Downtown Vancouver.

      In that area, there were 20 commercial break-and-enters over the two-week period from March 1 to 15. Yet within only one week from March 16 to 24, 35 break-and-enters occurred.

      The VPD stated in a news release that property-crime detectives are running several investigations that target known offenders.

      In addition, more patrol officers and community safety personnel are being deployed in certain areas during the night and the VPD is also partnering with business improvement associations to provide information and support. 

      “We have very advanced analytical capabilities and are looking at crime statistics on a daily basis to identify trends and geographic hot spots,” VPD Chief Adam Palmer stated in a news release. “This allows us to shift and reallocate resourcing and plan ahead for new issues that may emerge.” 

      Some measures that the VPD recommends to businesses for boosting security are to move merchandise away from windows (or remove them from the retail space completely), use window shutters to minimize damage and reduce visibility, upgrade locks, and increase outdoor lighting.

      “Overall, we have seen a reduction in calls for service for police over the last couple of weeks, and we will be ready to respond if this changes,” Chief Palmer stated.