Lets go back to 2001, I lived in south Burnaby, there was some crime,there always is, the evening hookers would come out at night to earn their drug money,the police would move them along, there was shoplifting, petty thefts, some unseen gang violence,the odd assault, the once in a blue moon murder but all that comes with being a big city in the 21st century. But back in 2001 I could go anywhere,walk anywhere, I never had to worry about strolling down the wrong street and risk being assaulted,robbed or terrorized.
Now don`t get me wrong, I don`t expect a city of angels, people are rude,stupid, litterbugs, for the most part people are oblivious to their actions and thats okay because I expect as much, and I enjoyed walking, I liked to see all parts of Burnaby, believe me, I am no boy scout but to me, it`s very important that the citizenry know their town, know their neighbors and should not fear going down the wrong street.
But in 2001 something dramatic happened that changed the fabric of society for a generation, and who knows if we will ever get back our streets, because without a fundamental shift in government priorities we are heading straight to hell.
There have been many bad government decisions by governments of all stripes over the years that have allowed this to floursish but it`s my opinion and the opinion of police officers that I have interviewed that the floodgates were opened up wide in 2001.
What dramatic thing happened in 2001?---The BC Liberals were elected, now before you jump on me about having a political axe to grind let me lay out the series of events that have made BC the crime and murder capital of Canada.
In the first Campbell term one of the first things Campbell did was close down 25 courthouses and 9 prisons, all this to save money, because as you know that in 2001 Campbell gave high end earners and big business $2 billion dollars in tax cuts, so what was the result of those cuts?
The city slowly changed and I witnessed it first hand, and from police officers I talked to those changes occured not only in Burnaby but in most municipalities in metro Vancouver, I noticed that the hookers weren`t being shuffled along anymore, they were on the streets 24/7....Drug dealers started dealing in the open, even my brother in law who worked at a Burnaby Super Value told me the police wouldn`t even come out to attend to shoplifters they caught, the park I looked out to from my apartment became a drug haven, crack dealers moved into my building and the police seemed deaf to complaints from me and tenants, cars were being stolen from the underground, seniors were getting purses stolen, terrorized and it`s not as if these things that were happening were invisible.
Now all of this happened in a couple of years, seniors and adults, kids,everyone was being affected, well me being a in your face person didn`t back down, I wanted answers,none were forthcoming, I visited my federal representative on edmonds (Patty Sihota), she just gave me baffle gab, My apartment looked out onto Richmond park(in Burnaby), a once peaceful family,youth oriented area with a community youth center, young kids would play,there was a small kid playground in the park with slides and sand, but the area became dangerous,gangs moved in,the park turned into a drug bazaar 24/7.....needles everywhere,condoms, I spoke to many staff at the community center and they were in shock as to what was happening,their pleas fell upon deaf ears, I witnessed assaults, fights,dealing, thefts, I had to put the Burnaby police on speed dial.
Yet the more I called the worse it got, something was going on and I wanted answers, I went to the Burnaby RCMP and demanded answers,why weren`t they doing something, they shuffled me along,no longer were they shuffling hookers or criminals along only the complaining public, I threatened to do a video ex,pose on the whole situation and embarrass the Burnaby detachment, I finally got someone`s attention, but in reality all I got was lip service, I finally arranged a sting operation and put my life on the line to bring down the crack dealing gang in my building.
But now that I was a marked man in Burnaby my days in that town were numbered.
I made a few friends in the Burnaby detachment (who wish to remain anonymous for this story) and asked what was really going on.
And the story I was told shocked me to my core.
What was going on was this, the Burnaby police officers were under orders to ignore, to let petty crime go, don`t waste time on hookers,shoplifters, small level street dealing was also to be ignored, car theft, theft from autos, even break and entering was put on the lowest rung of their priorities.
But why I asked--Well it comes back to the Campbell cuts,the closing of 25 court houses-9 prisons, Burnaby RCMP was put in a cash crunch,to give you an example, Burnaby no longer had a court house, so if they had a shoplifter or a person with crack cocaine who was detained,the police would have to book the offender, then transfer the defendant to another jurisdiction(because Burnaby had no court houses) and with the overloaded court houses the police would be spending the better part of their shift transferring accused persons from jail to courthouses all over the city, so the cost to prosecute the simplest of crimes was staggering!
So slowly but gradually the police were given orders to ignore,look the other way, small crimes were mandated off the books and they were basically delegated to collecting revenue from drivers(seat belts,speeding,parking,to raise money) and they were told to concentrate their efforts on serious crime/violent assaults, murder,rape etc etc.And it didn`t stop there, because it wasn`t just court houses,it was prisons, Campbell closed nine of them,cut corrections, now the prison system in BC had a problem,overcrowding,no space available and what space was available was being used to house the more dangerous offenders, so now the whole apple cart has been upset,police aren`t keeping the criminals in line, prisons have no space,prisons are forced to release the small petty criminal, and now it flows back to the judges, the judiciary is not immune or blind to what is happening,they know police,corrections and prison officials and they know the problem, but with a lack of space and resources the judges are now forced to not give jail time to people who deserve incarceration.
And the cascading effect has only just begun, people are predictable,patterns arose and the low-life criminals caught on very quickly to the "new" game in town.
So imagine this pattern repeating itself all over metro Vancouver, and the criminals caught on, the criminal element got more brazen, their fear of incarceration was gone, it turned into a free-for-all, a lawless,or at least unenforced lawless society,and it escalated,and escalated, I found myself as a one man sheriff in south Burnaby, I had the public coming to me for help.parents asking for assistance, well I have dozens of movie making stories I could tell but that`s not part of this story, eventually after having my windows smashed out, being swarmed, and hoodlums trying to turn my cats into maltoff cocktails I had no choice but to leave Burnaby for the safety of my animals and.....It was just a matter of time before my new armaments were put to use and someone would end up dead.That is the reason I moved to the sunshinecoast full-time.
Meanwhile before the last election we had gang killings daily, thefts,assaults,violence,no one is safe,the downtown eastside has turned into a gong show, and now bring in the "LIAR" Gordon Campbell......His election promises,gang task forces,more police resources,Campbell vowed to take back the streets.Gordon Campbell vowed to take back the streets,the same streets that his government downloaded the criminals onto.
Meanwhile the election has come and gone, I hear not a word about crime, I hear nothing about new prisons anymore,in fact in the last throne speech there wasn`t one word about crime,gangs, public safety, not one word, you see folks the election is over, premier butterfly has moved on,guard the valuables,protect yourself, be mindful of where you travel on metro Vancouver streets,don`t put yourself in a dangerous situation, avoid Surrey,Burnaby,Vancouver,The Fraser Valley....watch yourself in Abbotsford the new murder capital of Canada, but more importantly you should fear the Campbell government more than anything because they are the authors of BC, A CRIME STORY
P.S. last night on the local Global news it has been reported that the BC RCMP has had to cut recruiting resources and the story went onto to say that the force will be lucky to keep up with attrition rates with their present funding let alone actually increasing police manpower numbers,in fact many departments are being slashed,including the child pornography unit,the child exploitation unit, and when will they build the badly needed prisons ?
The Straight Goods
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open