VicPD are stepping up enforcement in downtown Victoria after dealing over two dozen youth related violence and vandalism incidents over the past three weeks.
According to a VicPD community update, teens from surrounding municipalities have been travelling to the city on Friday and Saturday nights to consume alcohol and drugs in large groups.
The recent spike prompted police to increase enforcement in the downtown core this past weekend which led to the arrest of eight youths for a variety of offences, ranging from vandalism to weapons possession.
VicPD said incidents include reports of assaults with weapons, random swarming attacks on the public, as well as numerous reports of mischief, vandalism, property damage and open consumption of alcohol and drugs by underage youth.
Several people, including youth, have been injured.
Parents were required to attend VicPD cells to retrieve their teens who were then informed of the teens’ release conditions.
Some of the arrested youths were released with conditions not to attend downtown Victoria.
“I’ve not seen in the past young people coming downtown, gathering in groups of sometimes up to fifty or more, consuming alcohol or drugs and then committing this level of violence and vandalism,” said Constable Mark Jenkins, VicPD Community Services Division Constable.
“It was back-to-back calls from the public during our Friday night deployment.”
According to VicPD, they will continue to work with community partners including regional policing partners, school districts, private schools, BC Transit, regional municipalities, news media, community groups, parents and families to address the issue and establish long-term solutions.
VicPD said officers will continue to interdict violence, seize alcohol, drugs and weapons and conduct enforcement.
Anyone who sees a group assaulting someone or damaging property is asked to call 911 immediately.
Anyone with information regarding these previous acts of violence and vandalism is asked to contact the VicPD at (250) 995-7654.