Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2020

File: 20-47649

Victoria, BC – VicPD is launching “Project Holiday Connect”, an initiative aimed at increasing police visibility in Victoria and Esquimalt’s downtown business communities and local shopping centres over the holiday season.

Starting today, “Project Holiday Connect” will see VicPD officers maintaining a consistent, high-visibility presence around the downtown area, local shopping centres, and parkades of both Victoria and Esquimalt during the holiday shopping season. The goal of this project is to increase police visibility in these areas, and deter theft and other holiday shopping-related crime.

“Our local businesses are essential to our community and this year has been challenging for them,” said Chief Del Manak. “We want to do what we can to support our business community over the holiday season. VicPD officers will therefore be downtown, in our malls, our shopping centres and our parkades, and they’ll be highly visible.”

The project is scheduled to run from Tuesday, December 8th until Friday, December 18th, and it will be staffed by officers on regular duty within VicPD’s Community Services Division and Community Resource Officers from Esquimalt Division.

“This year we are placing a strong emphasis on encouraging our community to shop locally,” said Jeff Bray of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. “Downtown is a great, safe place to do your holiday shopping, and we look forward to seeing VicPD around local stores in support of our business community.”

“We welcome the increased presence of VicPD around Esquimalt’s shopping areas over the holidays,” said Chris Edley, President of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce. “This is a great time of year for our community to shop locally, and we appreciate VicPD’s support of Esquimalt’s business community.”

In addition to “Project Holiday Connect,” officers are reminding the public to take steps to protect their belongings over the holiday shopping season.

Never leave valuables in your vehicles. Theft from vehicles is a crime of opportunity that we see often during the holiday shopping season. Remember that thieves are looking for any items that can be easily taken and sold. Cash, credit cards, electronics or others items left in plain view inside a vehicle are an easy target for thieves. In addition, parcels from online shopping left unattended on doorsteps can also present an opportunity for thieves. Track your packages by delivery time so that they are not made available for theft.