Gay Wednesday I – my take on Fountainhead Alleged Gay Bashing

March 18, 2009 at 11:05 am | Posted in LGBT | Leave a comment

Gay Community Rallies after Fountainhead Pub Attack:

Hey, I saw this interview this MLA Spencer Herber taking place on Davie Street while I was on the way home yesterday. The alleged attack was a couple of days ago so you’ve probably already read about it. For me, this part way down at the bottom of the article is the most interesting:

Rob Stipp, co-founder of the community group West Enders Against Violence Everywhere, said a neighbourhood poll conducted three years ago found gay-bashing, both physical and verbal, is a regular occurrence.

“We were shocked at how many people have had some kind of encounter,” he said.

Herbert said he’d like to see the province institute a dedicated telephone crisis line for people to report gay-bashing incidents.

Hiring a victim services worker to work with the gay community when instances of violence occur would also be welcome.

“Quite often people don’t know where to turn, or who to talk to. They are not sure what their rights are,” Herbert said.

Stipp also asked for more police presence on Davie Street “not only in the evenings, but also in the daytimes so that we have a community here that feels safe.”

Vancouver police spokesman Const. Lindsey Houghton said Davie Street is regularly patrolled by officers, but said suggestions on how to improve community safety are always welcome.

OK there are some interesting suggestions there, but the call for more police officers seems like a stock reaction to me, especially at this time that police resources in BC are spread so thin. Besides, what kind of police presence would be necessary to prevent random attacks in bars. Is a police office going to be stationed in every gay bar on Davie Street? I’m sure that the gay community would love that.

Here’s my suggestion – The BC Government should make Basic Security Training free. If you want to be licensed, you still have to pay, but if you just want to learn there should be no cost. It would be great if this option were applied to classroom learning, but in the interest of cost perhaps it could just be for online learning.

So, why should everyone become security guards? Well, isn’t that what the call for more police is all about, increased security? Unless of course the call for more police is all about having a nanny around. Why security training? Well years ago I took the British Columbia basic security course. That doesn’t make me a tough guy or any smarter than anybody else, and it certainly does not make me a wannabe cop. However it does give me some specialized knowlege of what to when a crime has been committed, and how to diminish the chances of crime happening in the first place.

Now I’m getting a little far from the original story about the alleged assault at the Fountainhead Pub. It sounds like everybody did everything right after the alleged attack. I’m not claiming that a city full of security guards would have prevented that incident, or every incident. I’m just saying that when a crime is committed a knee-jerk call for more police officers is not very practical and that Vancouver would be a safe place if more people had some a bit of expertise in preventing crime.

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