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Vancouver business Dresew steps up to avoid rampant vandalism

“They need to come together and actually help people, not just what they are doing.” — David McKee, President of Dressew Supply Ltd.

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In a downtown district littered with broken and boarded-up windows, Dressew Supply Ltd. on Hastings and Homer streets stands out for refusing to remain vulnerable to chronic and relentless vandalism. I’m here.

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A venerable fabric and sewing store owner chose to leave behind a hoard of colorfully painted plywood installed to protect windows during COVID-19 business closures in early 2020, and downtown Virtually abandoned.

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“When I was in the position of ‘Okay, it’s time to get rid of them,’ I said, ‘We can’t,’ because there were so many broken windows that we saw. said David McKee, president of the family-owned store.

We still hear from many customers who were surprised to hear they were open when they reopened in October 2020, so McKee estimates that had an impact on sales.

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David McKie is the president of Dressew Supply, a fabric and sewing store on West Hastings Street in Vancouver. The store he has operated for 61 years, but vandalism forced the windows to be boarded up.
David McKie is the president of Dressew Supply, a fabric and sewing store on West Hastings Street in Vancouver. The store he has operated for 61 years, but vandalism forced the windows to be boarded up. Photo by Jason Payne /PNG

But on a quiet Friday morning, standing on the pavement in front of Boarding’s uplifting message, “Do what you can,” McKee believes that “wood is cheaper than new glass and more wood,” and has teamed up with similarly disgruntled neighbors to call for action to do something about it.

Dressy, started by Mackie’s father Roger, has spent 41 of its 61 years in business at the Hastings location, and Mackie says he experienced a broken window probably every four to five years before the pandemic. I was.

And after years of silence, last week McKee took to social media to explain the situation and his frustrations after having to pay a city fine for graffiti on a trash can in the alley behind the store. explained.

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“It has to be at all levels of government. They need to come together and actually help people, not what they are doing now,” McKee said.

This issue is not unique to Vancouver, so it is a repeated cry by the BC Business Improvement Area (BIABC), an association representing 70 BIAs in the state.

“Yes, Downtown is well known in Vancouver for having many problems, but it’s just as prevalent in other communities in B.C.,” said BIABC President Terri Smith, who said she’s been working hard across North America. revealed in a news report in the city of.

“At this point, our community is in crisis and we need to come together and do something,” Smith said.

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At the top of BIABC’s call to action is for civic leaders to commit core funding to programs to improve street lighting, sanitation and anti-graffiti programs, and to strengthen police and ordinance enforcement. is.

And in response to vandalism, Smith said a financial assistance program for businesses that are victims of commercial crime is one of his other needs, along with tackling issues of mental health, addiction and homelessness. I said yes.

McKie agrees that law enforcement is part of the solution, and it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the outcome, which he speculates is that several people in the neighborhood have repeatedly smashed windows.

But he is wary of “right-wing, crime-hard” solutions. “Because it will only make things worse.”

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“A very small number of people are doing immeasurable damage to businesses, the general public and vulnerable people alike,” McKie said. “They are being preyed upon by these prolific criminals and they need help.”

Vancouver Police declined to comment on Friday’s situation, instead directing reporters to general crime statistics on its website.

These statistics show that VPD received 1,059 prank complaints from citizens in the downtown Central Business District in the first seven months of 2022, compared to 1,638 for the entire year 2021 and 1,718 for the entire year 2020. I received

And in recent weeks, police departments in Vancouver and Translink have teamed up to arrest a series of vandalism last winter when someone targeted and broke the windows of 26 buses.

depenner@postmedia.com

twitter.com/derrickpenner

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Vancouver business Dresew steps up to avoid rampant vandalism

Source link Vancouver business Dresew steps up to avoid rampant vandalism

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