VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Tomorrow will mark three years since the Stanley Cup Riot in Downtown Vancouver, and some of the accused are still making their way through the court system.
News1130 legal analyst Michael Shapray explains there’s no statute of limitations in Canada on an indictable offence, like participating in a riot. That means this could go on for years.
“If evidence comes before the police that allows them to proceed with a charge, they wouldn’t be time–barred,” he tells us.
But Shapray feels the investigation to find those responsible has lost steam. “They’ve brought down the number of police officers working on the case from 60 to two, so it doesn’t appear that much will be done proactively with respect to the riot investigation, moving forward.”
“I think that like any criminal investigation of this magnitude, there has to be an end. And I think that end is coming close,” he adds.
Nearly 300 people have been charged so far, 260 have entered guilty pleas, and more than 30 await sentencing. For those who’ve had a trial, sentences have ranged from discharges to a year behind bars.
“Now we have a such a body of sentencing cases that we’re really only going to look at the sentences that have come out of that incident on June 15th, 2011 for guidance on what the appropriate sentences are going to be. I don’t think we’re going to [see a] change in the sentencing for the few cases that are left in the system now. The range has been set. The judge is always going to look at the conduct being alleged,” he explains.
Vancouver Police remind you that despite fewer officers investigating the riot, they still need your help finding the several dozen suspected rioters who still haven’t been tracked down.
“When we receive information from the public or from sources that give us the opportunity to identify some of these individuals. We follow up on that information and, if appropriate, charges will be recommended,” says Constable Brian Montague.
He adds the force’s website is still up and running.
“Riot2011.vpd.ca, people can go there, have a look at the pictures and see if they recognize anybody.”
Montague admits tips have dried up, but he expects they’ll get a bunch next week now that it’s back in the news.