Beacon Hill Park (Doug Clement Photography)

The Victoria Police Department says they will increase the number of officers patrolling the Burnside-Gorge and Beacon Hill Park areas.

VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko tells Victoria Buzz that this initiative will be undertaken in response to “an increase in calls for service as well as increased concerns from the community in those areas”.

According to a statement from the department, police will increase their presence in the Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood and in Beacon Hill Park throughout the month of August.

Statistics from the department show that there has been a 35 per cent increase in calls for service between March 17 and July 10, 2020 compared to the same time period last year.

Within this time period, there was also an 82 per cent increase in break and enters and a 100 per cent increase in mischief cases.

A whopping 500 per cent more indecent acts cases were recorded over the past few months in those areas, and 144 per cent more “disturbances”.

The department says threats against individuals in Burnside-Gorge and Beacon Hill Park have increased by 78 per cent while assaults overall have increased by 25 per cent.

Increased police visibility is expected to address some of the concerns expressed by residents and businesses over the past few weeks.

“We have heard from the community, especially through the VicPD Block Watch program, that they would like to see more of a VicPD presence in these areas,” said Chief Del Manak.

“Our officers will therefore continue to engage with local residents to build relationships and to improve the safety of our community.”

The current budget for increasing police presence is around $40,000 but Osoko says VicPD will be monitoring the need and response throughout the month of August making adjustments as needed.

The initiative will be staffed by officers from across the department on special duty assignment.