Vancouver residents shouldn’t expect an Olympian crime wave when the Winter Games arrive in the city, says a criminologist who’s studied crime rates in host cities.

Scott Decker, director of Arizona State University’s criminology school, says there’s evidence crime rates actually fall during the Olympics.

He co-authored a study on routine policing during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games and found no significant uptick in police calls, and arrests were actually down.

However, Decker says with many local officers doing Olympic security duty, it can take longer for police to respond to a call.

Decker’s views are echoed by Vancouver police spokesman Const. Lindsay Houghton.

He and the RCMP, however, say they have enough officers and the heavy and highly visible police presence should make streets safer.

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