POLICE MOVE HOMELESS

2007.12.13 - 8:02 PM

In Victoria, BC the 'Chattel' bylaw makes it illegal to place any belongs on the street, sidewalk, or public place (ie. park) At the discretion of Police they can confiscate all belongs and fine the owner $25-$80 depending upon size of the 'Chattel' with $5 charge per day for storage. This means backpacks and blanket rolls etc...

Another bylaw makes it illegal to sit, squat, stand, lie down, or remain in one place for a length of time to be determined by police.

The City of Victoria has been asked by the Supreme Court of British Columbia to define the term 'abode' which is referred to in a bylaw preventing camping.

It would appear that tourists are exempt from these bylaws and homeless people are the primary target.



The Victoria City Police, under the command of Mayor Alan Lowe, continue to move homeless people along. The official stance is that Victoria Police will not move sleeping people between 11pm and 6am unless a property owner complains. Many people have been harassed to move along and even given free rides to the city limits. Lack of cooperation can lead to a night in jail but can also lead to bodily assault and even death. According to recent statistics from the ombudsman's office the rate of death in the city cells averages 1 per month, many of those people were homeless when they died in police custody. The youngster in this video were told not to hang around outside the mayor's office in Centennial Square at the same time that the mayor was holding a public open door for citizens who would like to speak with him. First come first serve.

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