Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
Victoria, BC – VicPD is responding to ongoing youth violence in downtown Victoria and the surrounding areas with information, interdiction, and enforcement.
Youth from surrounding municipalities have begun coming to downtown Victoria on Friday and Saturday nights to consume alcohol and drugs. Some nights have seen over 150 youth in groups of various size gathering in locations across downtown Victoria and the surrounding area. VicPD Patrol and Community Services Division (CSD) officers have been responding to calls for violent offences including assaults with weapons, random attacks on passersby, including attacks on elderly and unhoused persons, and the swarming of a police officer. There have also been numerous reports of mischief, vandalism and property damage, as well as the open consumption of alcohol and drugs by underage youth, and associated disturbances and medical incidents. There have been several incidents of people, including youth, being injured. Some of the youth involved have begun expanding these activities into weekday nights.
While over two dozen calls for service have been dispatched for these ongoing incidents, here are some examples of the calls officers are responding to.
Friday, May 6, 2022
22-16795 – A caller reported that a group of 100 youths were in the area of Government and Douglas streets, with some of them jumping on car roofs, kicking car doors and damaging transit signs. Officers arrived and dispersed the group who left behind a significant amount of garbage requiring the City of Victoria Parks Department to follow up.
22-16808 – A couple was swarmed by a group of 20 youths in the 900-block of Douglas Street. The couple were randomly attacked, with youths grabbing one of the victims by the throat and striking her, while continuing to beat and kick the other member of the couple. The couple were able to break away and flee, calling 911 once they were safe. The main suspect is described as a female youth, with very long eyelashes. She wore an orange sweater, black hooded sweatshirt and a black balaclava. Officers responded and searched the area but were not able to locate the suspect. The couple suffered non-life-threatening injuries which did not require medical attention. This file remains under investigation.
22-16814 – Officers responded to a report of a group fighting near the intersection of Douglas Street and Pandora Avenue. The investigation indicates that a group of youths surrounded and began harassing two unhoused persons. During the confrontation, one of the unhoused persons struck one of the youths in the face with a flashlight and then fled the area. The injured youth, who was intoxicated, suffered non-life-threatening facial injuries. He declined medical treatment and was driven home to his Langford residence and released to a parent. This file remains under investigation.
22-16799 – Patrol officers were flagged down near the intersection of View and Douglas streets for a youth who was laying in the roadway with hand injuries. Officers discovered a female youth, showing clear signs of intoxication and suffering non-life-threatening hand injuries. As officers investigated they learned she had been part of a group that swarmed and assaulted two people. One of the victims was struck in the face and both of the victims fled to a vehicle. The group surrounded and began kicking and punching the vehicle, causing significant damage. The victims drove away from the area. The female youth was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services paramedics. Officers contacted the youth’s family in Sooke, who attended hospital, and spoke with officers about ongoing concerns.
Monday, April 25, 2022
2022-15250 – A business owner was swarmed and sprayed with bear spray when a group of youths began fighting outside his store in the 1100-block of Douglas Street. Several youths stole knives from the store after the owner was sprayed. Two youths, previously identified in earlier assaults, were arrested for assault with a weapon and theft. The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Saturday, April 23, 2022
22-15067 – A 70-year-old man was swarmed by a group of 25 youths in the 1200-block of Douglas Street. The man was attacked by a group of five or six youths, who began hitting, punching and spitting on the man. The 70-year-old man suffered significant but non-life-threatening facial injuries in the incident which required medical treatment. This file remains under investigation.
Friday, April 22, 2022
22-14948 – Patrol officers attended a call regarding a male youth armed with a knife and bear spray, after a report that a group of youths were assaulting each other with bear spray in the 1300-block of Douglas Street. When arrested, a group of 14 youths swarmed the arresting officer in an attempt to prevent the youth’s arrest. The youth was transported to VicPD cells and issued a violation ticket for cannabis possession. The weapons were seized for destruction and the youth turned over to the custody of a parent.
VicPD is working with regional partners including the Greater Victoria School District and regional police partners to engage with the youths and their families, interdict groups in key problem areas and conduct enforcement.
Officers have learned that some parents are providing their children with bear spray and alcohol when their children have expressed a desire to bring knives and drugs into Victoria’s downtown. Officers are informing parents that this type of approach is unhelpful and is instead leading to increased violence and damage. We are working with partners to get the message to families that the behaviour occurring is unsafe, unlawful and will be addressed through enforcement as required.
VicPD officers will be making their presence known at key locations in downtown Victoria during a tweet-along on Friday night. Please join us on our VicPDCanada Twitter account with hashtag #VicPDLive.
“Several of the youths involved have told officers that they believe that they will not face criminal charges for their actions,” VicPD Spokesperson Cst. Cam MacIntyre said. “Some of these youth are conducting violent, random attacks and have told officers that they believe that they will face no consequences for their unlawful actions. They are wrong. Officers are arresting and recommending charges, which can have significant and negative life-long impacts.”
If you see a group assaulting people or damaging property, please call 911. If you have any information about these incidents, please call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 ext1.