I'm not sure this isn't merely a restatement of what has already become standard procedure but Vancouver police patrolling the city's troubled Downtown Eastside will no longer be arresting and charging druggies for simple possession. The policy is intended to free up officers for street duties. From the Vancouver Sun:
"We'll come across people all day long who have maybe a few rocks of cocaine in their pocket, or maybe a bit of methamphetamine, [for] personal use," said Const. Jana McGuinness. "Technically, yes, you could arrest and you could tie up two officers for four hours writing a report like that.
"That's where the discretion will be employed. Where they can, say, seize the drugs, get the drugs off the street and then go about their business of being out there stopping other crimes."
Less paperwork will mean more officers on the street to tackle street disorder, McGuinness said. The police business plan identifies a number of behaviours the force is trying to curb, including aggressive panhandling, squeegeeing, open-air drug markets, unlicensed street vending and sleeping in city parks.
It's curious there's no mention of street prostitution. Obviously Vancouver is trying to clean up its streets before the tourists arrive for the 2010 Olympics