Date: Friday, July 30, 2021
Victoria, BC – VicPD officers are offering tips for a safe, peaceful, and lawful protest after a number of unsafe incidents during recent protests.
VicPD attends well over 100 protests a year in an effort to provide a safe environment. Our primary objective is always to protect the public and to prevent any safety risks that may arise from large groups gathering in public. Recently, a member of the public was involved in a collision with a vehicle when they entered the roadway during a protest. Other recent protests have seen unsafe practices, which have resulted in several close calls for both protest participants and other members of the public.
Safe, lawful, and peaceful protests are permitted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. VicPD supports this fundamental right of all Canadians and encourages members of the public to take some straightforward steps to help keep themselves and others safe in a protest environment.
Here are some important points to remember to keep yourself and those you are with safe:
- Plan ahead. Email VicPD’s Operational Planning section at [email protected] with the date, time, location and expected attendance at your event. If you are planning to march, please provide an expected route. This information helps our staff organize the appropriate resources to support a safe environment, including traffic control where required.
- VicPD’s Operational Planning section does not handle special event permits. Special event permits are obtained through the City of Victoria or the Township of Esquimalt, depending on the jurisdiction.
- If you are planning to march during a protest, do not enter an active roadway or impede traffic.
- If interactions with traffic are unavoidable, do not attempt to control traffic, or stop traffic at an intersection. It is dangerous and unlawful to do so. Our officers will provide assistance with traffic control when required.
- Report suspicious persons or packages. If you see something, say something. This can be done by notifying an officer in the area, or calling the non-emergency line at 250-995-7654 ext 1.
- Know your location. if you are coming from out of town, familiarize yourself with landmarks so that you can relay this information to a dispatcher in the event of an emergency.
If you are attending a protest and witness a crime-in-progress, an incident involving the threat to someone’s safety, or need to report a missing youth or person at risk, immediately call 911. You can always report non-emergency incidents to the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 extension 1. To report information to police anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.