A View from the Street – impressions of Victoria Police among people with no fixed address (March 2015)
The Victoria Police Department (VicPD) conducted a Community Survey during March – April 2014 aimed at understanding community experiences of local policing and perceptions of safety in Victoria. Their survey is intended to inform VicPD’s strategic planning for 2015. Due to the mail-out nature of the VicPD survey, we recognized this survey would not reach individuals with no fixed address. We also recognized that feedback from this demographic is a critical component in informing strategic planning regarding community policing (as people with no fixed address have among the most frequent interactions with police).
To address this, we delivered a modified version of the VicPD survey to 110 individuals with no fixed address (ie. people who are homeless or transiently housed) from May to August 2014. Our intention is that the valuable experiences of individuals with no fixed address will inform ongoing oversight and review of processes concerning VicPD operations.
To mark the first National Harm Reduction Day in Canada (June 12th), CAPUD is releasing a report calling for dramatic changes in the participation of people who use illicit drugs in the services, policies and research that directly impact their lives. [download English and French versions of the report below]
The report, Collective Voices/Effecting Change, is the result of a national meeting of fourteen organizations of people who use drugs from across Canada in October 2013. Meeting in Victoria BC, and hosted by members of SOLID, representatives highlighted multiple issues that impact the health, safety and well being of people who use drugs. The report outlines main issues all groups face, including lack of access to affordable housing, stigma and discrimination in access to housing and health care services, police harassment, criminalization and the need for drug policy reform, and lack of harm reduction services, particularly in rural areas.
Upholding the human rights of people who use drugs means ending these forms of discrimination, and the way to do this is to ensure people who use drugs are at the table when it comes to health services, research and drug policy. The report is geared towards immediate action on the ground, calling directly on people who are developing policy, programs, services and undertaking research to recognize these issues and to follow through on our recommendations.
SOLID supported Centre for Addictions Research of BC in laying out key issues faced by people who use(d) illicit drugs when accessing care in hospitals. SOLID has presented this work to nurses and other hospital staff at Victoria General and Royal Jubilee Hospitals.
Check out this short film about SOLID’s 2012 Outreach Team, “Rig Dig”: