Province, city reviewing riot aftermath

Solicitor General Shirley Bond's pre-game pleas to celebrate responsibly went out the window along with the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup hopes Wednesday night, leaving the city and the province to clean up and assess their crowd control strategy.

Rioters vandalize an unmarked police car in downtown Vancouver Wednesday night after the Canucks loss in the Stanley Cup final.

Solicitor General Shirley Bond’s pre-game plea to celebrate responsibly went out the window along with the Vancouver Canucks’ hopes for the Stanley Cup Wednesday night, leaving the city and the province to clean up and reassess their crowd control strategy.

At a tense news conference with fire officials Thursday, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said there will be multiple reviews of the response to the Stanley Cup riot of 2011, including the big question of whether the city should abandon the practice of encouraging thousands of people to gather downtown.

RCMP and Abbotsford Police reinforcements, sent in after post-game crowds turned violent, took three hours to stop extensive damage and looting in downtown stores. A strategy of “meet and greet” by police crowd control units with people watching on giant TV screens had little deterrent effect.

As the mayhem was covered on live television, Bond urged thousands of picture-snapping spectators to go home.

Lessons learned from the 1994 Stanley Cup riot helped get the situation under control in half the time as the events of 17 years ago, Chu said, and police were dealing with many more rioters and hangers-on.

Chu identified the key perpetrators as the same group of “anarchists and criminals” who disrupted the 2010 Olympics. They are opportunists, looking for big crowds to hide their activities, he said.

Police did not anticipate the full impact of wireless social media on crowds, invited to gather at downtown “live sites” to watch in the tradition of the 2010 Olympics. Huge crowds of drunken spectators with camera phones delayed police and fire crews from stopping the looting and burning.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson also identified “a small group of troublemakers” as the primary cause.

Premier Christy Clark told CKNW radio Thursday that the review has to focus on the social media factor, and use new technology to identify people caught in video and still images.

“We have to make sure that the hard-core group of troublemakers is punished,” Clark said.

Just Posted

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

The most h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s spelling bee you’ll ever see in Chilliwack

Secondary Characters Musical Theatre hits the stage with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Hang gliding video gives stunning view of Harrison and Fraser river confluence

Aerial view shows striking difference between two rivers as they meet

RCMP use helicopter and police dog to search for suspect on Sts’ailes First Nation

Man known to police fled an allegedly stolen vehicle and firearm on the reserve north of Chilliwack

Stay safe on the rivers of Chilliwack and don’t become a statistic, says swift water expert

Chilliwack Search and Rescue is putting out a safety message just in time for the summer season

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read