Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 2009
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Neil Boyd


I was surprised to read Vancouver Police Union President Tom
Stamatakis's comments regarding Insite's impact on crime in its
surrounding downtown eastside neighbourhood -- that "claims about
Insite reducing crime and disorder have been . . . very much
exaggerated." This has never been a central reason for supporting
Insite -- that the facility reduces crime. It is a institution
designed to benefit the health of those it serves, not a
crime-reduction initiative. As we concluded in our 2008 report to
Health Canada, "there is no evidence to suggest that Insite has had
any significant impact on either the rate or spatial distribution of
criminal activity within the neighbourhood."

Further, and perhaps more important, while we found that many (though
not most) police officers were critical of Insite, residents who live
in the neighbourhood, social service providers who work there, and
those who operate businesses, were overwhelmingly supportive of
Insite's continuing presence and support.

Neil Boyd

Simon Fraser University
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr