Vancouver ups fine for street fighting to $1,000

$1,000 fine for fighting

Fighting on Vancouver streets will soon cost ill-advised combatants $1,000 a pop.

The new penalties were approved unanimously and without discussion by council on Tuesday.

The bylaw is worded in a way that seeks to deter fighting specifically in the Granville Entertainment District, though the change applies to all corners of the city.

“It’s what we’ve been asking for,” said Charles Gauthier, president of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

The previous fine amount was $500, but did little to deter the problem, at least according to statistics from the Vancouver Police Department.

There have been roughly 1,600 reports of assault annually over the last five years in the Central Business District, far and away the highest number anywhere in the city.

Those numbers include reports from 2014 to 2018, while stats from 2019 go up until the end of October. So far, there have been 1,478 assaults this year in the area bound by Burrard and Main streets, stretching north to Coal Harbour and including the Granville Entertainment District.

Fines paid within 30 days will remain at $500.

“The graduated fine payment approach has proven effective for the collection of city parking tickets with 63 per cent of tickets paid within the discount period,” notes a staff report prepared by chief licence officer Kathryn Holm. “Providing additional incentive to pay a reduced rate is likely to increase fine collection rates.”

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