Documents/VPD/5: Street Disorder

5: Street Disorder

Improve liveability by reducing street disorder

Other Information:

Street disorder represents any behaviour or activity that, while frequently not criminal in nature, contributes to urban decay and has a negative impact on the quality of life and citizens’ perceptions of personal safety. This behaviour includes, but is not restricted to, aggressive panhandling, squeegeeing, graffiti, fighting, open-air drug markets, unlicensed street vending, the scavenger economy, and sleeping or camping in parks and other public spaces. One key aspect of street disorder is that it is likely the single biggest factor in making members of the public feel unsafe as they move through public spaces. The root causes of most disorder are poverty, addictions and mental illness, as well as aberrant behaviour fueled by the over-consumption of liquor. Solutions to these significant social problems require the commitment of resources from all levels of government. However, in the meantime, the level of disorder is serious in the Downtown Eastside, the downtown core and the West End, and the VPD must do whatever it can to help address the issue. MEASUREMENTS Performance Indicator: Quality of life indicators, as found with the measurement of calls for service related to annoyances, disturbances, breaches of the peace, prostitution, panhandling, fighting, drunkenness, unwanted persons and drug offences Additional Measurements: * Annual survey with community stakeholders, such as local Business Improvement Associations, to assess the level of disorder * Mental health crisis intervention training delivered to operational police officers * The number of interventions and referrals through Car 87 (the mental health car) * Number of citizen complaints about disorder issues * Citizen satisfaction survey conducted biennially to assess attitudes and perceptions of safety * The number of visible indicators of disorder (number of panhandlers, squeegee people, etc.) * Improved order in Entertainment District * A reduction in the level of open-air drug activity in the city, measured through public surveys