VANCOUVER – Vancouver police say they know the identities of hundreds of people they will be investigating for participating in last month’s Stanley Cup riot.
But just because officers know who they are, doesn’t mean charges will follow quickly.
The force said in a news release 50 police officers and other experts are sifting through a mountain of evidence to determine the extent of the crimes committed by individual people.
“There are many challenges in this investigation, not the least of which is the sheer amount of evidence and information that must be painstakingly analysed to ensure a complete and thorough investigation,” the news release said.
“The team is still fine-tuning the infrastructure that is dealing with the unprecedented volume of data.”
The investigation team is already looking into 111 people, including 37 who have turned themselves in.
The force says it has received 4,300 email tips, 1,500 hours of video and 15,000 pictures as part of their investigation. An invitation for members of the public to submit cellphone video and photos triggered an outpouring in the days after the riot, even crashing the department’s server for a time.
“A suspect may be identified quickly in a photograph committing a crime, however, investigators still need to determine the extent of their involvement,” the release said.
But despite the deluge of evidence, the force has issued another plea for anyone with pictures or video of offences being committed to submit them.
The crimes being investigated include participating in a riot, assault, mischief, theft, robbery and arson.
The Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins, sparking a riot that saw the looting and trashing of several downtown businesses.