Sunday Morning In Victoria: Death Near Tourists


Police and Princess Mary
Originally uploaded by dewolfe0001.
What's happening in Victoria on a Sunday morning? Brunch? Garage sales? Maybe a speed trap? This police cruiser is part of a huge team of police and forensics people who have descended upon this hill near the Johnson St. Bridge; across the street from a new housing project called, Dockside Green; and Ocean Pointe Resort.
It's conjectured that the death is a suspicious death and likely related to the raging drug problem in the downtown core. Just up the road, there is Payless/Shell gas station. Its bathroom is popular place for junkies to shoot up. I know City of Victoria workers and contractors who have had to clean up this hill and the nearby brush. Drifters and neo-anarchists will stash their stuff in his bushes and leave hypodermics pointing out of the shrubs like makeshift pungee sticks. Why not? Three blocks from this site, is AIDS Vancouver Island and its needle exchange. They offer clean rigs to addicts so they don't have to re-use needles or share needles. That strategy is key in reducing the spread of AIDS and Hepatitis amongst addicts. Unfortunately, they've lost the "exchange" part of the needle concept. Needles litter lesser used parts of the downtown core all the way up to the Victoria/Esquimalt border. Needles are handed out. They're used. They're frequently left with HIV and Hepatitus agents in and around the hypodermics. Then they're left to litter the city. The people who hand out the needles are paid. Why not pay addicts something for the needles they turn in? Even if the needles are handed out free, give addicts some money for used hypodermics that come. They won't use them just to that token amount of cash-- that would be like drinking a soda to get the bottle deposit. But they would have an incentive to turn in needles; seeing as social responsible and the illegality of drug possession haven't done that yet.

UPDATE: The dead man was not a homeless man or a junkie: he was a fisherman and carpenter. The question now: did junkies mug this man and leave him for dead? Given the purse snatchings and knivings that have happened in this part of town in the last month, is this area safe? Police frequent the area (just check out the West Bay Village Starbucks every evening from 7:30 to 8:30-- or the Tim Horton's on Esquimalt Rd.) and they respond to calls. Do they do routine patrols? If so, I don't know why or when. I've seen them speed past prostitutes on the stroll; and drug addicts jitting along. Maybe if they made their precense known before a crime, they wouldn't end up swarming a VicWest hillside on a Sunday morning. But that isn't in their interest: there's no slot in stats for "prevented crimes."

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