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Vancouver Downtown East Side

Vancouver’s Downtown East Side is famous in Canada for having the worst postal policies characterized by high crime rates, high HIV and AIDS infection rates, drug abuse. The streets of this town are mostly under the surveillance of police officers who, harass people who reside in its corners. There are also a high number of both men and women who participate in commercial sex, and this has contributed to the town’s high population and HIV infection rates. The town and its neighborhoods have scanty buildings that are not enough to contain its population. It also has very few businesses that can help alleviate the poverty levels and those that boom does nothing to improve the situation as they are under the control of drug cartels. The rental houses that were in place a few years before their demolition served as low-income generating businesses for its owners (Cran, 2010).

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Most of the town’s population uses a drug like heroin and cocaine, and the intake mode for this drug is injected. This explains the high rate of HIV injections as most of the drug addicts share needles because they have no money to purchase new ones. The drug addicts have no secure jobs to generate the money they need to purchase these expensive drugs (Sacco & Leslie, 2011). This led to an increase in crime rates as they started stealing from the businesses set up in the area and going into the suburb which is the town’s residential areas. The outcome of this situation was an increase in insecurity and increase, in the police harassment of the street population. The thieves resold the goods for lower prices causing several second-hand shops and businesses to spring all over town. The lack of money to sustain their addiction also forced women and some men to move to the streets and start commercial sex businesses that keep the supply of money a bit steady, (Otgaar & Klijs, 2011).

The other problem that is prevalent in this town is its low economic status. The town is in deplorable conditions with few legal income-generating activities. Most second-hand businesses are not legal and do not pay taxes. The existence of these second-hand businesses elevates the crime rates to a high level. This is because those engaged in robberies and thefts, know that they have a ready market where they can sell their goods fast than when they have to look for prospective buyers.

I agree with the label that Vancouver’s downtown East Side is indeed a dangerous place. This is because most of its population is under the influence of drugs and can do anything in its power to get access to these drugs. Those supplying these drugs sell them in the open-air markets in the streets proving how horrible the situation is in the streets (Campbell & Boyd, 2009). The security level of this town is very low as its streets are full of desperate who reside in the streets. This population does not engage itself in any legal generating activity, yet they have needed to tend. The situation leaves them with no option, but to resolve into criminal activities. The situation is even made worse by police officers who keep on harassing the residence even in broad daylight.


Campbell, L., & Boyd, V. (2009). A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Fight for Its Future. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre.

Cran, B. (2010). Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Chicago: Read How You Want.

Otgaar, A. H. J & Klijs, J. (2011).Towards healthy cities: comparing conditions for change. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

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Sacco, F.,V. & Leslie W., K. (2011). The Criminal Event: An Introduction to Criminology in Canada. Toronto: McGraw-Hill.

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