Last June, when Vancouver yobs went on a rampage in downtown Van when their precious Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final (again, thank you, Boston), Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast felt a sense of shame. This was humiliating for peace, order and good government-loving Canadians. I mean, a riot after you win is one thing… but a riot after losing? That’s so Vancouver.
After the riot, outraged Vancouverites went on a social media revenge spree, posting hundreds of pictures of rioters (and in some cases, their names, addresses, and Social Insurance Numbers) to help the police in their investigation. The Vancouver police, of course, promised justice.
That promise is still pending.
More than two months after the riot, the number of charges laid against rioters now equals the number of goals the Canucks scored in Game 7.
That would be zero.
Now, compare and contrast the response from British Columbia law enforcement people to the actions of the justice community in London following the riots that convulsed that city less than two weeks ago.
On Thursday, London police announced that they have now laid one thousand charges. That’s right — a one with three zeros. Compared to Vancouver’s total, which is all zeros.
That’s only half the story. Not only have 1,000 people been charged, a number have already been convicted and are serving jail time. A London man with no previous criminal record is serving six months for stealing a case of water; a mother of two who was caught wearing a pair of looted shorts was sentenced to five months — and she didn’t even participate in the riot. Two young men were sentenced to four years in jail for using Facebook to “organize and orchestrate” rioting.
The speed with which London rioters have been identified, arrested, charged and convicted is staggering, particularly in light of the extraordinarily sluggish response of Vancouver police (I wonder what kind of response time Vancouver police have to emergency calls).
“If we rush cases to court, we risk losing (cases) by being ineffective and inefficient,” Vancouver police chief Jim Chu whined on Wednesday.
True enough. But if you have a photo of Suspect A carrying a stereo out of a store, and you have Suspect A’s name and address, it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to go to the idiot’s house, slap the cuffs on him and take him in (preferably wearing his Canucks jersey, and in front of TV cameras). It beggars belief that Vancouver police have not managed to lay one single charge in what is certainly the most well documented criminal event in Canadian history.
The hapless chief Chu issued this stern warning to Vancouver rioters now getting ready for a return to classes with their purloined goods: “One day soon, we will find you.”
Of course, how soon is anybody’s guess. At the rate Vancouver police are going, Vancouver rioters should be making their first court appearance sometime around the time when the first London rioters are released from prison.