Comment in today’s Times Colonist from police Chief Frank Elsner.
Crime statistics show that Victoria is a safe community; in fact, one of Canada’s safest. However, when people don’t “feel” safe, then we need to look deeper. Social-disorder issues, such as panhandling, are often looked at as crime issues when, in fact, they are not. Criticism is then levelled at the police for not doing our jobs. Victoria, for all its beauty and compassion, has a disproportionately large homeless population, exacerbated by poverty, substance abuse and mental-health issues. To be clear, none of these issues are illegal, let alone criminal. Most of these unfortunate individuals need the medical community, not the legal one.
Read the comment: Comment: Law alone won’t solve downtown social issues
Source: Times Colonist