Council was told security hired to prevent encampments wouldn’t make arrests. One councillor is questioning why city documents say otherwise.
“If someone’s been charged with trespass, they should get booked,” says Coun. Tim Tierney, who represents Ward 5. “It doesn’t mean the police will be there.”
On the same day, the city also agreed to a report by the United Nations Human Rights Committee on police accountability in Vancouver.
“I think that if we look at that report, we will find that while we have some very, very high levels of police involvement, we have very, very low levels of police accountability,” says Tierney.
He says he will try to get the city to review its agreement with the RCMP.
“I’m not opposed to the city holding the RCMP accountable, but I’d like to see the city look into it,” he says. “To me that appears to be poor police management on behalf of our city. It should be better.”
In the meantime, many B.C. Green candidates are calling for better police oversight in Vancouver. As a city, “we have a responsibility to protect people from harm,” says Ward 8 councillor Melissa DeRosa.
“We should be doing a better job of ensuring we have police officers who actually understand this is a city,” DeRosa says. “We are a city of about 8 million people.”
“What you have over the last decade are too many police officers in the field, who look to this one-size-fits-all model and just don’t have any knowledge,” says Coun. Brian Pincott. “You’re allowing that model to shape how we work as a police force in this city.”
For their part, police say they are doing the best they can.
“The RCMP takes allegations of human rights violations seriously