Const. Roger Rai speaks at the opening of Vancouver's new community policing centre, which he said aims to curb gang and domestic violence.

Vancouver police hope a new community policing centre that opened on Sunday will break down language barriers and cut crime in the city's South Asian communities.

The new centre is housed in the facility of a Sikh organization, Khalsa Diwan Society, in South Vancouver, near the Ross Street Sikh temple.

Police believe the Punjabi-speaking officers in the centre will encourage people to come forward and report problems.

"We need to have an officer out here for the residents, to deal with certain issues. These issues have been prevalent in the news — gang violence being one of them, domestic violence issues, and also issues related to alcoholism," said Const. Roger Rai, who was instrumental in opening the centre.

Vancouver police also hope to open another community policing centre in the near future on Fraser Street or Main Street for the city's South Asian residents.