Research-to-Action

Vancouver police chief Jim Chu announces retirement

The Georgia Straight
Friday, January 23, 2015

Under Chu's leadership, the VPD pioneered progressive approach to dealing with sex workers. The department's 2013 sex work enforcement guidelines stated that all cases of violence or abuse of sex workers should be treated as "serious criminal matters" and that an officer should be assigned to investigate.

The VPD also declared that the safety of sex workers would be respected and that police intervention following complaints would be "as nonintrusive and informal as possible in order to protect the safety, and privacy of those they are investigating."

Despite this widely hailed policy, UBC researcher and associate professor of medicine Kate Shannon found that the VPD's focus on clients rather than sex workers did not alter rates of physical violence and rape.