Leo Knight, Law and Order, 24 hours Vancouver

Leo Knight Prime Time Crime columnist 24 hours (PHOTO SUBMITTED).


Sgt. Lindsey Houghton is the media spokesman for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit British Columbia. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

Budget cuts hit gang unit

Two provincially funded sections of the RCMP are being told they are in a budget deficit and have to cut $4.2 million from their operating budgets to get things back in line.

The Kennedy family performing in Victoria. (LEO KNIGHT)

Parent finds musical connection

The media has been abuzz lately with stories about young folks dying at various music festivals across Canada. Parents were shocked their kids would be taking drugs. They were good kids, did well at school, and all that.

RCMP at the Pemberton Music Festival after one man died. (QMI AGENCY)

Don't blame music festival organizers

Following the deaths of a woman at the Boonstock Music Festival in Penticton and a man at the Pemberton Music Festival — with police warnings about alcohol and drugs after dozens of Boonstock attendees were sent to hospital — I got the inevitable media calls asking for comment on what organizers could do to prevent such things from occurring.

Police use of Tasers is controversial. (FILE PHOTO)

Taser support a delicious irony

Following the tragic and controversial police shooting death of Sammy Yatim on a street car last summer, Toronto Police Services Chief Bill Blair commissioned retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci to study the problem of police interaction with “people in crisis,” or mental health issues.

Police who are being attacked must defend themselves. (QMI AGENCY)

Cops don't have time to reflect

A B.C. Coroners Service inquest convened Monday into the shooting death of Ryan Jacob by Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Bill Wark. While I would not presume to pre-judge the outcome, according to Wark’s own testimony, things seem fairly clear.

Protests have been held outside of where hearings have been held into a proposed new prostitution law. (QMI AGENCY)

Vancouver sex trade to stay in shadows

Watching the hearings on the proposed prostitution law before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has been strange indeed. The new law was made necessary after the Supreme Court of Canada threw out several provisions of the pre- existing law last December, and gave the federal government a year to come up with new legislation.

RCMP officers in Moncton, New Brunswick gather their weapons during a search for a man suspected of shooting other officers last month. (QMI AGENCY)

Moncton tragedy showed cops outgunned

Largely because the wounds were still bleeding — literally and metaphorically — I have refrained from commenting on the shootings in Moncton, New Brunswick last month which left three RCMP members dead and two more recovering after a confrontation with a cop hunter. And make no mistake — that is exactly what the killer was on that fateful night.

Vancouver police patrol the Downtown Eastside. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

Money wasted on Vancouver's DTES

The hand-wringing continues unabated in the Downtown Eastside. The weekend’s Vancouver Sun detailed a laundry list of 260 agencies that provide some form of “service” to the roughly 6,500 residents in need in what we used to call the “Skids.”

VPD media liaison officer Const. Brian Montague said Monday that recent gang shootings are ‘unsettling’ but local residents should still feel safe. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

Gangs always at war in Vancouver

A recent spate of shootings in the Lower Mainland has some media members trying to get the Vancouver Police Department to say there is a new gang war in the works. VPD media liaison officer Const. Brian Montague did his best on Monday to say it's too early to say that despite recent events.

Prostitute walks along Hastings St. in Vancouver, British Columbia, May, 2013. QMI AGENCY

Prostitution bill needs more thought

It is entirely possible the theological place of eternal punishment has reached a temperature slightly below zero degrees Celsius. I actually find myself agreeing with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the NDP on the same subject.

Reuters files

Canadian prostitution survey misses mark

Following the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada to strike down federal laws against prostitution, the justice department undertook a national survey on the issue. Those survey results were released this week.

A mourner places a picture of murdered mom Julie Paskall amidst lit candles during a candlelight vigil in Surrey on Jan. 18. (REUTERS/BEN NELMS)

Arrest in Surrey mom’s murder a remarkable feat

The arrest of Yosef Jomo Gopaul in the murder of Julie Paskall was certainly welcome news and a testament to the hard work done by the members of IHIT, who put their case together patiently and deliberately.


Parole system unfair to victims’ families

On Aug. 3, 1997, Vancouver police received a call from RCMP after they had arrested a man in a Spuzzum cafe. That man, James Shortreed, had told a waitress in the cafe to call police because he was a wanted man.

Screen grab from the YouTube video: 'Police VPD Attack May Day March Vancouver' (YOUTUBE.COM)

Lapdog media need to add some bite

Two stories broke in the past few days that underline the failure of the media and what reporting has become in Metro Vancouver.

Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, one of three current and former sex workers who initiated a challenge to Canada's prostitution laws, reacts at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa December 20, 2013. The Supreme Court of Canada struck down all current restrictions on prostitution on Friday, including bans on brothels and on street solicitation, declaring the laws were unconstitutional because they violated prostitutes' safety. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Nordic prostitution model an exercise in futility

Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the prostitution provisions of the Criminal Code last December, the federal government has laboured to cobble together a solution to the gigantic headache the judges gave the justice minister.

This video posted by a user called Danny Carlson on YouTube showed some longboarders zooming down a hill in West Vancouver before a police vehicle pulls halfway into the oncoming lane and hits his lights. (FROM YOUTUBE)

B.C. police oversight too convoluted

A video of an incident between West Vancouver police and longboarders went viral last week. The longboarders were rocketing down a steep road when a police officer coming in the other direction turned on his lights and pulled partly in the path of them, apparently causing one to crash as he took evasive action.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner seems more like an expensive make-work project for bureaucrats than an effective agency. (FOTOLIA)

Police watchdog a redundant bureaucracy

The 2012/13 report of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner was released last week and, after reading it, one is left with, well, not much of anything.

VPD, Vancouver Police Department unveil the first wave of new 2013 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Police motorcycles in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday September 9, 2013. Carmine Marinelli/Vancouver 24hours/QMI Agency

Vancouver cops feel muzzled by policies

There’s a great story I wanted to let you know about some dedicated Vancouver Police Department officers who went above and beyond to build a case against a significant criminal and give some measure of justice to the exploited victims.