British Columbia

Vancouver police prepare charges over riot

Vancouver police say charges are being prepared against 37 people who turned themselves in following last month's Stanley Cup riot, while hundreds more are still under investigation.

Police chief anticipates hundreds will be charged

Police are preparing charges against 37 people who turned themselves in, and hundreds more are being investigated, the CBC's Leah Hendry reports 2:18

Vancouver police say charges are being prepared against 37 people who turned themselves in following last month's Stanley Cup riot, while hundreds more are still under investigation.

Police Chief Jim Chu said Wednesday that 30 men and seven women have turned themselves in. Only seven are from Vancouver, Chu said, while the rest live in neighbouring municipalities, including Surrey, Burnaby, Maple Ridge and Abbotsford.

The riot investigation team is preparing charges against the people who have come forward, Chu said, which is expected to be "a lengthy and complex process." He said investigators are working to make sure there is enough evidence to obtain a successful conviction.

In addition, Chu said, another 111 people are under investigation for criminal acts relating to the riot. There are literally hundreds more, he said, who have been identified and who will become the subject of investigation in the coming months.

A Vancouverite takes pictures of the post-rioting damage following the Stanley Cup loss on June 15. ((Geoff Howe/Canadian Press))

Some of the alleged crimes being investigated include: participating in a riot; assault; breaking and entering; theft; arson; and possession of stolen property.

Police have received 4,300 email tips to date, resulting in 1,700 emails requiring investigation. Chu said investigators are poring over 1,500 hours of video and 3,000 individual data files.

He anticipates hundreds of people will be charged by the end of the investigation.

The special riot investigation team consists of 50 police officers and civilian experts from around the region.

Anyone with photos or video not yet submitted to police is asked to forward copies on a CD or DVD. Chu said it is important to keep the memory card's original pictures or videos, in case they need to be examined further. If the pictures or videos are stored on a cellphone, police ask that they do not be deleted.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police by email at riot@vpd.ca, by phone at 604-717-2541 or with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

People wanting to turn themselves in should call 778-838-2124 to make the necessary arrangements.

With files from the CBC's Leah Hendry