North American cities are recently seeing a raise in criminal behaviour and Vancouver is no exception.
The Vancouver Police Department announced on Thursday that the number of break-ins to businesses was up 47.9 percent in Vancouver from the same period last year. Violent crime is also up 5.2 percent due to physical assault rates.
According to the Vancouver Sun, "Although Vancouver residents did their best to stay home and stop the spread of COVID, VPD officers could not do the same as crime continued," Deputy Chief Const. Howard Chow said during a news conference in Vancouver on Thursday.
"We know that many of these break-ins happened because businesses were closed and unstaffed for several weeks. Chronic property offenders saw this as a golden opportunity."
Chow also stated that in Yaletown, a popular hub of the city, police have been called out 450 times to the areas of the hotels where homeless people were given shelter during the pandemic. Last year, only 45 calls were made in this area during the same period.
Other areas are also seeing crime surging. In Strathcona, assaults are up 16 percent and weapons calls were up 50 percent. Strathcona is an area where a tent city has grown to hundreds of tents in the park.
In Chinatown, violent crime is also up 17 percent and commercial break-ins have more than doubled since last year, at 60 percent.
"I'm so concerned about the increase in violence and serious crimes and street disorder in some of the neighbourhoods like Strathcona, Yaletown, Chinatown and the West End," Chow said.
Many are calling on the City to take action as some businesses are now opting to shut their doors for good, due to the crime rate.