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Old 07-11-2019, 06:42 AM   #21
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Have you ever gotten a ticket as an adult for walking down the street with a beer in your hand as an adult? I haven’t.

So one is in general laws are enforced when a nuisance is created. Now one might argue that a nuisance is created by having people shoot up in the DTES. But it’s actually because you have moved people out of all the other areas through enforcement to reduce the problem elsewhere.

Ticketing or arresting just moves the problem around it doesn’t stop it. So it’s up to a city to either concentrate it or have it spread out.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:24 AM   #22
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It's not dramatic. After graduating from university I lived in Parkdale in Toronto which is considered a somewhat sketchy area. I never felt in danger. It could have been 2 a.m. and I was walking by a group of sketchy guys but I was never worried. Most people don't bother you if you don't bother them.

Seeing a group of people in public injecting themselves with drugs during the middle of the day in the centre of the city is pretty dramatic though. Its like something from a dystopian movie. I've never seen that before or since. I also saw some people who were messed up on something and I just didn't trust what they might do.

I don't get it to be honest. Vancouver has safe injection sites so why do they let these people shoot up outside. Why can't the local police enforce the laws?
You haven't walked in beltline around Sheldon Kumir lately have you? It's become a mini East Hastings thanks to the NDP. Safe injections sites is simply a place to get needles and shoot up in parks. The whole premise of safe injection sites is backwards because of lack of control and 'human rights'. Police are encouraged to not enforce, to not scare drug addicts from the sites at the expense of residents in the vicinity. Look up the safe injection site thread for the realities of what safe injection sites bring.

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Old 07-11-2019, 08:51 AM   #23
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I've visited to and lived in many cities across the world.

Vancouver is the only one where I felt legitimately unsafe.
Lol

You've obviously never been to America.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:53 AM   #24
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Lol

You've obviously never been to America.
Meh, I have only felt unsafe in one American city, New Orleans.

But I mean, I don't think I would feel unsafe in Vancouver..
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:07 AM   #25
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Meh, I have only felt unsafe in one American city, New Orleans.

But I mean, I don't think I would feel unsafe in Vancouver..
Fair enough. New Orleans is one of the most unsafe cities on the planet.

Almost every US city, however, has an area that looks like an actual war zone. I would rather sleep on the street naked in Vancouver than stop for gas in those sketchy areas of the US.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:12 AM   #26
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DTES is interesting. It doesn't feel unsafe in the classical sense like when you go to poor areas of mega American cities where violence and crime is a regular thing.

It's just sad seeing all those junkies and honestly my biggest worry is running one over when driving there.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:42 AM   #27
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I think people often confuse uncomfortable with unsafe. This is probably especially true when someone isn't used to being around people with some pretty serious adverse life experiences.

Drug addicts and homeless people should really barely register on your danger meter. More dangerous than the average person? Possibly. The same as strolling through a gang neighbourhood? Not remotely.

Poverty and drug addiction are uncomfortable, yes, but likely the worst thing that will happen to you in DTES is getting talked to. The. Horror.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:46 AM   #28
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I think people often confuse uncomfortable with unsafe. This is probably especially true when someone isn't used to being around people with some pretty serious adverse life experiences.

Drug addicts and homeless people should really barely register on your danger meter. More dangerous than the average person? Possibly. The same as strolling through a gang neighbourhood? Not remotely.

Poverty and drug addiction are uncomfortable, yes, but likely the worst thing that will happen to you in DTES is getting talked to. The. Horror.
The worst thing about the DTES is the smell.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:48 AM   #29
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I live relatively close to the DTES. Not in the thick of it but not far off. It has to the be the closest thing to hell I've seen in the developed world (I'm sure the ghettos of the third world are worse). And I'm only seeing the streets, I can't even imagine what's going on in some of the run down "hotels" and dilapidated buildings.
The sheer amount of human misery, insanity, and the cloud of negative energy is just unreal. I hear insane screaming from a few blocks away every night. I've literally had to sidestep junkies laying on the sidewalks as I walk over to an area like Gastown. Needles everywhere. Garbage flung around everywhere. I don't think I go a day without seeing drug paraphernalia laying around somewhere.

That being said, I don't feel particularly unsafe. It is unsettling though. Petty crime is a huge issue, and the cops can't due anything due to the volume of it.

Vancouver is like a supermodel with a big festering open wound on her forehead. Ignore that and she's amazing. I honestly feel like all people here can do at this point is shrug and ignore it as best as possible. I don't think any government has been able to get a good handle on it.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:51 AM   #30
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Yeah I guess maybe more uncomfortable than unsafe. But I really did feeI unsafe when I was randomly strolling though the city and walked past a church with 20 junkies all over the place. They didn't threaten me or anything but still felt overwhelmed.

I do have a needle phobia so being jetlagged and the first thing I see when I open the hostel door to go out on a mainstreet is a guy injecting a needle into his vein right in my face is probably not a good thing. It's something I'll never forget and Vancouver will always be associated with that for me.

I still think it's a big black eye for the city.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:54 AM   #31
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I think people often confuse uncomfortable with unsafe. This is probably especially true when someone isn't used to being around people with some pretty serious adverse life experiences.

Drug addicts and homeless people should really barely register on your danger meter. More dangerous than the average person? Possibly. The same as strolling through a gang neighbourhood? Not remotely.

Poverty and drug addiction are uncomfortable, yes, but likely the worst thing that will happen to you in DTES is getting talked to. The. Horror.
Where do you live?

You're not completely wrong about the safety factor but you are diminishing the negative impacts to the regular people trying to build up the community in the area. The worse thing that happens is not "getting talked to". There is plenty of crime, disruption to businesses, and disruption to normal life. Some of it is unsafe. When you have clearly mentally ill people screaming at passers by, you have no idea what they could do.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:59 AM   #32
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Where do you live?

You're not completely wrong about the safety factor but you are diminishing the negative impacts to the regular people trying to build up the community in the area. The worse thing that happens is not "getting talked to". There is plenty of crime, disruption to businesses, and disruption to normal life.
I wouldn't want to be walking my daughter through there that's for sure.

These people need help I don't get it why it's just some free for all.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:04 AM   #33
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Like you said it's very shocking to see these hard drugs being used so openly in the city centre.

I guess my question is...Why?

Why is it allowed?

If I remember correctly I'm not even allowed to walk down the street with a beer in my hand but you've got people in the middle of the day openly shooting up.
Using drugs and being high isn't a crime, just possession/distribution. So the police officers could theoretically arrest the addicts for possession of very small amounts of a drug, but that doesn't get anyone anywhere. The jail sentences wouldn't be anything substantial, and the amount of court resources you'd have to devout to that would be extensive. On top of that you would have an endless parade of human rights claims.

The only real way to tackle the problem would be to go full gestapo on the whole DTES community. That would be a logistical nightmare, and there is little political will to actually do that. Beyond drug addicts, the community in the DTES is also full of people with disability and mental health issues. Instead the plan has been to slowly gentrify the area and hope it goes away....it only seems to be getting worse though. An awful combination of the fentanyl epidemic, a lack of affordable housing, a stagnating economy, and rapidly increasing costs of living seem to be forcing more and more people onto the streets.

The police in Vancouver do, however, crack down quite heavily on drug dealers in the DTES. If you are not an addict yourself, and you're found distributing drugs in the DTES, it's an automatic jail sentence for a first offence these days. If you are caught dealing Fentanyl, even a first offence will result in a 1+ year sentence.

I defended a guy, via legal aid, who was caught selling under $10 worth of crack. Since being arrested, he'd gotten full time employment, got married, and had a child. The courts still gave him a multi-month sentence, and that was considered a very good result at the time.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:11 AM   #34
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Using drugs and being high isn't a crime, just possession/distribution. So the police officers could theoretically arrest the addicts for possession of very small amounts of a drug, but that doesn't get anyone anywhere. The jail sentences wouldn't be anything substantial, and the amount of court resources you'd have to devout to that would be extensive. On top of that you would have an endless parade of human rights claims.

The only real way to tackle the problem would be to go full gestapo on the whole DTES community. That would be a logistical nightmare, and there is little political will to actually do that. Beyond drug addicts, the community in the DTES is also full of people with disability and mental health issues. Instead the plan has been to slowly gentrify the area and hope it goes away....it only seems to be getting worse though. An awful combination of the fentanyl epidemic, a lack of affordable housing, a stagnating economy, and rapidly increasing costs of living seem to be forcing more and more people onto the streets.

The police in Vancouver do, however, crack down quite heavily on drug dealers in the DTES. If you are not an addict yourself, and you're found distributing drugs in the DTES, it's an automatic jail sentence for a first offence these days. If you are caught dealing Fentanyl, even a first offence will result in a 1+ year sentence.

I defended a guy, via legal aid, who was caught selling under $10 worth of crack. Since being arrested, he'd gotten full time employment, got married, and had a child. The courts still gave him a multi-month sentence, and that was considered a very good result at the time.
Interesting!

My other question is why such the huge concentration of hard drug users? Is it because of the injection sites? Other cities have injection sites too.

I don't take weather as a reason.

Toronto, Calgary, Montreal. These cities also have a lack of affordable housing and a crap economy. So why aren't there people outside Exhibition park shooting up? Why is it only Vancouver?
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:14 AM   #35
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Vancouver has mild winters the other cities do not.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:17 AM   #36
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Vancouver has mild winters the other cities do not.
So slightly warmer. These users really hate the cold?

It's got to be more than that.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:19 AM   #37
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Have you ever gotten a ticket as an adult for walking down the street with a beer in your hand as an adult? I havenít.

So one is in general laws are enforced when a nuisance is created. Now one might argue that a nuisance is created by having people shoot up in the DTES. But itís actually because you have moved people out of all the other areas through enforcement to reduce the problem elsewhere.

Ticketing or arresting just moves the problem around it doesnít stop it. So itís up to a city to either concentrate it or have it spread out.
I've never really tried it.

But I guarantee if my 10 friends and I got together we got drunk outside some church. Just hanging out on the lawn. The police would come and either tell us to get out of there at the very least.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:22 AM   #38
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So slightly warmer. These users really hate the cold?

It's got to be more than that.
The weather is definitely a factor. People on the streets will literally freeze to death in the other major cities.

Also I think a lot of users probably feel like its a place they can belong to some sort of community. Where better to find a community of people as down and out as you? There's an entire ecosystem here for people in that situation.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:25 AM   #39
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Interesting!

My other question is why such the huge concentration of hard drug users? Is it because of the injection sites? Other cities have injection sites too.

I don't take weather as a reason.

Toronto, Calgary, Montreal. These cities also have a lack of affordable housing and a crap economy. So why aren't there people outside Exhibition park shooting up? Why is it only Vancouver?
The weather IS the main reason...if you were homeless would you rather live in -10 to -30 for 6 months or 0 to 15 degrees for 6 months. The summers are generally milder and longer as well.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:28 AM   #40
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The worst thing about the DTES is the smell.
These days the worst thing down there are the self entitled millennials that have taken over the area
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