- BC Games
Quarter of convicted rioters not obeying release rules: VPD
At least a quarter of Stanley Cup rioters convicted so far are ignoring court orders or failing to comply with their release conditions, according to Vancouver Police.
Eleven sentenced rioters are under investigation for breach of their court orders, VPD Inspector Laurence Rankin said Wednesday.
More than 40 convicted and sentenced rioters are being periodically monitored by the Integrated Riot Investigation Team to ensure they're complying with probation or other conditions.
Rankin said it's frustrating spot checks show 11 of them – seven adults and four youth – aren't complying with curfews, house arrest rules or orders not to go to certain areas.
They've now been charged with breach of conditions and several others are still under investigation.
"They talked about spotless records, they talked about being outstanding people in the community," Rankin said, referring to defence requests for lenient sentences.
"But here they are not taking their conditions seriously, not taking the courts seriously."
Vancouver Police suspect the number of released rioters not obeying their orders is higher – the 11 charged are only ones officers have caught.
"We have not made these extraoadinary efforts to see some rioters flout the law with disrespect for the courts," Rankin said.
Det.-Const. Raj Mander said only four or five of the 42 people being monitored live in the City of Vancouver, forcing VPD officers to make forays further out in the region or enlist aid from RCMP in checking on residents of the Interior or Vancouver Island.
"It's a pretty onerous task to go all the way out to Aldergrove, Richmond, North Vancouver – all over the Lower Mainland – and knock on the doors of these people."
Officers must check out the sometimes wild excuses those caught make.
Mander said one convicted rioter who wasn't home while under house arrest later claimed "their bus had taken a wrong turn."
Another youth removed magnets from his doorframe so he could come and go without setting off an alarm and alerting his parents.
Asked if the hours of police effort – including some overtime – is justified, Mander said riot investigators are seeing through their pledge to bring to justice all those responsible for the June 15, 2011 mayhem following the Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup final loss to Boston.
"We made a commitment to see this through to the end. And it hasn't ended yet."
The courts have so far sentenced 56 of the 194 accused rioters charged by Crown.
Only nine have been given jail time.
Nearly 70 per cent of those charged have pleaded guilty.
Police monitoring includes those who are out on bail and still awaiting trial or sentencing.
Surrey is the most common home city so far for sentenced rioters – 15 live there – followed by eight from Burnaby, seven from Vancouver, five from Richmond and three from North Vancouver.