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Police set sights on vulnerable DTES women

Vancouver police have launched a new program aimed at improving safety for Downtown Eastside women — some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Vancouver police have launched a new program aimed at improving safety for Downtown Eastside women — some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Guardian Project includes a $10,000 reward for information about the death of Ashley Machiskinic, 22, who fell from the window of a DTES hotel in September, said Vancouver police Const. Jim Chu.

Friends of Machiskinic say she was pushed.

“Crime statistics for this area have never truly reflected the danger and jeopardy that women ... face,” Chu said. “Women have traditionally been reluctant to report crimes against themselves or others.”

Marlene George, chair of the February 14 Women’s Memorial March Committee, called the program a “positive step” toward improving relations between residents and police.

“For the first time, women’s groups in the DTES ... actually have a working relationship with the department,” said George.

“Whatever would help people to be able to disclose information in a confidential way and ... solve these cases of assaults and murders of women (is a good thing),” she said.

 
 
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