Daily Archives: June 28, 2012


Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – ‘No easy answers’

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Steve A young hipster in skinny jeans and a plaid shirt stopped me on West Hastings Street the other day. “So, when are you gonna start arresting some of the drug dealers out here?” he asked. It was a bit of a sarcastic comment, so I dished a little of the same back his way. “Sure,” I said. “You point ‘em out to me and I’ll go arrest them.” We were standing outside the Burns Block, a century-old building and former low-income hotel that was recently converted into 30 “micro-lofts.” It’s part of the so-called gentrification of the Downtown Eastside. This hipster had apparently just moved into the area, likely wanting to live in Vancouver’s edgiest neighbourhood, but perhaps not quite realizing his front door was just steps away from ground zero in the city’s open-air drug market. ‘They’re everywhere,” he said. “I walk down the street and all I get is people trying to sell me drugs.” Despite the cheekiness of our initial exchange, I could tell he was genuine. I empathized with his frustration. He felt like the police were not doing enough to deal with the drug problem in the area. Looking around at […]