Victoria Police now believe Wednesday’s downtown bomb scare was a deliberate action, prompting questions whether local police have enough resources to deal with explosive threats.
On Wednesday the 500-block of Yates Street was shut down for more than nine hours after a suspicious package was found in the parkade.
The Victoria Police utilized various tools, including a robot and x-ray machine, but ultimately had to call in a bomb squad from the mainland.
“The device we located was certainly concerning to our trained officers, who are trained in these types of calls and these types of things, that’s why we called in these additional resources,” said Victoria Police spokesperson Bowen Osoko to the public in a Facebook video.
It took several hours for the bomb squad to arrive, but eventually, they were able to render the suspicious package as a non-theat. Ultimately, the device was found to be “inert.”
However, police did say they believed the device was planted deliberately and they are now looking for anyone who may have been involved.
This isn’t the first time Victoria has seen a bomb scare. Last August a bomb threat triggered the evacuation of Our Place on Pandora Avenue and the adjacent Victoria Conservatory of Music.
In August of 2013, two people were charged with plotting to use homemade bombs in an alleged “terrorist” attack against the B.C. Legislature.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps told CTV Vancouver Island that she’d need to see more statistics on these types of issues before bringing more police resources and bomb squads to Victoria.
Victoria Police told the public that the investigation is ongoing and they will do their best to update the public when they can.