2020-Q4

These indicators, when used over time, provide some context to the degree that police services are effective at reducing criminal victimization and improving public safety and the feeling of safety in the community. These performance metrics partially reflect the outcomes and quality of police performance keeping in mind that there are various influences on crime and order beyond policing.

Indicator

Chart Data (Esquimalt & Victoria)

Calls for Service (Esquimalt / Victoria)

Calls for Service

A Call for Service (CFS) is a request for services from or report to the police department that generates any action on the part of the police department or partner agency performing work on behalf of the police department (such as E-Comm 9-1-1).

A CFS includes recording a crime/incident for reporting purposes. CFS is not generated for proactive activities unless the officer generates a specific CFS report.

The types of calls for service are broken into six main categories as follows:

  • Social order – call types include disturbance, man down, unwanted person, etc.
  • Violence – call types include assault, sexual assault, robbery, etc.
  • Property – call types include break and enters, theft from vehicles, theft of vehicles, etc.
  • Traffic – call types include collision response, impaired driving and other traffic offences.
  • Assist – call types include requests to assist BC Emergency Health Services paramedics, Parole, other police departments, etc.
  • Other – calls are those which do not fit into the categories above.

Annual trends show an overall decrease in Calls for Service (CFS); however, the decrease is misleading.   Since January 2019, abandoned calls are no longer captured by the E-Comm 911/Police Dispatch Centre in the same way. This has significantly reduced the number of 911 calls being generated over the past two years. Policy changes with regard to abandoned 911 calls from cell phones occurred in July 2019 further reducing these call types. Additional factors that have played a part in reducing the number of 911 calls received through the years include: increased education; changes to cell phone devices where emergency calls could no longer be activated by a one button push, reducing the number of pocket dials being received; a Telus decision that new business phone lines would start with “8” to access an external line versus “9”; and changing policy so officers did not have to attend where others could check on individuals on their behalf. This included senior homes, pay phone areas, hospitals, etc.

Calls for Service

Calls for Service Annual

Calls for Service by Category - Esquimalt

Annual Calls for Service by Category - Esquimalt

Calls for Service by Category - Victoria

Annual Calls for Service by Category - Victoria

Crime Rate (VicPD Jurisdiction)

Crime Rate

Crime Rate/100,000 population (VicPD Jurisdiction)

  • Total Crime (excluding traffic)
  • Violent Crime
  • Property Crime
  • Other Crime

(Data Source: Statistics Canada)

Data Updated | Statistics Canada updates their data from time to time as new information becomes available. On October 30, 2020 we updated 2018 and 2019 numbers on this page to reflect the latest data update from Statistics Canada. Data for 2020 will be updated when data released by Statistics Canada.

Crime Rate

Crime Severity Index (VicPD Jurisdiction)

Crime Severity Index (VicPD Jurisdiction)

Crime Severity Index (CSI) by municipality will be reported when available from Statistics Canada.

Data for 2020 will be updated when released by Statistic Canada.

(Data Source: Statistics Canada)

Crime Severity Index

Crime Incidents (VicPD Jurisdiction)

Number of Crime Incidents (VicPD Jurisdiction)

  • Violent Crime Incidents
  • Property Crime Incidents
  • Other Crime Incidents

Data for 2020 will be updated when released by Statistics Canada

(Data Source: Statistics Canada)

Crime Incidents

Weighted Clearance Rate (VicPD Jurisdiction)

Weighted Clearance Rate (VicPD Jurisdiction)

  • Total Clearance Rate
  • Violent Clearance Rate
  • Non-Violent Clearance Rate

Clearance rates indicate the extent to which investigation into criminal offences resulted in an identified subject that may or may not have resulted in a charge.  Weighted Clearance Rates are a calculation that places more emphasis on solving more serious crime. The Weighted Clearance Rate value permits monitoring of changes over time.

Data for 2020 will be updated when released by Statistics Canada.

(Data Source: Statistics Canada)

Weighted Clearance Rate

Perception of Crime (Esquimalt / Victoria)

Perception of Crime

Community and business survey data from 2014 and 2017 (and beyond): “Do you think that crime in Victoria and/or Esquimalt has increased, decreased or remained the same during the last 5 years?”.

Perception of Crime - Esquimalt

Perception of Crime - Victoria

Block Watch (Esquimalt / Victoria)

Block Watch Participation

  • Number of active blocks

Block Watch Groups

Public Satisfaction (Esquimalt / Victoria)

Public Satisfaction

Public satisfaction with VicPD (community and business survey data from 2014 and 2017 (and beyond): “Overall, how satisfied are you with the work of the Victoria Police?.”

• Victoria City
• Esquimalt Township

Public Satisfaction - Esquimalt

Public Satisfaction - Victoria

Perception of Accountability (Esquimalt / Victoria)

Perception of Accountability

Perception of accountability of VicPD officers (community and business survey data from 2014 and 2017 (and beyond): “Based on your own personal experience, or what you may have read or heard, please indicate whether you agree or disagree that the Victoria Police is accountable.”

• Victoria City
• Esquimalt Township

Perception of Accountability - Esquimalt

Perception of Accountability - Victoria

Documents Released to the Public (VicPD)

Documents Released to the Public

These charts show the number of community updates (news releases) and reports published, as well the number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests that are released.

Documents Released to the Public

Overtime Costs (VicPD)

Overtime Hours (Police)

  • Investigation and Specialized Units (This includes investigations, specialized units, protests and other)
  • Staff Shortage (Cost associated with replacing absent staff, normally for last minute injury or illness)
  • Statutory Holiday (Mandatory overtime costs for staff working Statutory Holidays)
  • Recovered (This is related to special duties and overtime for seconded specialty units where all costs are recovered from outside funding resulting in no additional cost to VicPD)

Overtime Costs by Category

Public Safety Campaigns (VicPD)

Public Safety Campaigns

The number of public safety campaigns initiated by VicPD and those local, regional, or national campaigns supported by, but not necessarily initiated by VicPD.

Public Safety Campaigns

Police Act Complaints (VicPD)

Police Act Complaints

Total files opened by the Professional Standards office. Open files do not necessarily result in an investigation of any type. (Source: Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner)

  • Admissible registered complaints (complaints resulting in a formal Police Act investigation)
  • Number of reported substantiated investigations (Police Act investigations that resulted in one or more counts of misconduct being established)

Police Act Complaints

Case Load per Officer (VicPD)

Case Load per Officer

The average number of criminal files assigned to each officer.  The average is calculated by dividing the total number of files by the authorized strength of the police Department (Source: Police Resources in BC, Province of British Columbia).

Data for 2020 will updated when released by Statistics Canada.

Case Load per Officer

Time Loss in Shifts (VicPD)

Time Loss In Shifts - On-duty

VicPD’s operational effectiveness can be, and has been, affected by having employees unable to work. The loss of time recorded in this chart includes both physical and mental health injuries which occur in the workplace. This does not include time lost for off-duty injury or illness, parental leave, or leaves of absence. This chart shows this time loss in terms of shifts lost by both officers and civilian employees by calendar year.

Time Loss

Deployable Officers (VicPD)

Deployable Officers

This is the percentage of officers who are fully deployable to policing duties with no restrictions.

Please note: This is a Point-in-Time calculation each year, as the actual number fluctuates widely throughout the year.

Deployable Officers

Volunteer / Reserve Constable Hours (VicPD)

Volunteer / Reserve Constable Hours

This is the number of volunteer hours annually performed by volunteers and Reserve Constables.

Volunteer / Reserve Constable hours

Response Time (Esquimalt / Victoria)

Response Times for Priority One and Two Calls

Time received to time on scene of the first officer

• Total (VicPD's total service area)
• Victoria Division
• Esquimalt Division

Average response time is the mean (average) off all responses under each priority.  Since the average is calculated by adding up all response times and dividing by the number of responses, the calculation of average response times can be influenced by outliers - unusually quick to very long response times.  Median response time is the middle response time on the list of all response times from lowest to highest.  Reading the two measures together permits a better assessment of the overall central tendency in the data set.

Response Time - Esquimalt

Response Time - Victoria

Training Hours (VicPD)

Training Hours

Average training hours is calculated by the total number of hours of training divided by the authorized strength.  All training is accounted for including training related to specialized positions such as the Emergency Response Team, and off-duty training required under the Collective Agreement.

Average Training Hours per Officer

VicPD Community Information

Esquimalt

Man Arrested after Assault, Barricade

On October 1st, Patrol officers were called to a multi-unit residential building in the 1000-block of Esquimalt Road for a report that a person had been assaulted. When officers arrived, they located the victim suffering from non-life-threatening injuries. The victim was treated and transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services paramedics. Officers learned that the suspect was in a unit in the building and moved to arrest them. The suspect refused to leave the unit and began barricading themselves inside.

Officers blocked off Esquimalt Road as they worked to resolve the incident safely. The Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team, their Crisis Negotiators, as well as additional officers, including VicPD K9, responded to the call. Negotiations were successful and the individual was taken into custody.

Impaired Semi-Truck Crash

On October 7th, an officer was patrolling in Esquimalt when the semi-truck driving in front of him, carrying a 60-foot long piling, collided with a hydro power pole at the intersection of Admirals and Esquimalt roads. The impact of the collision sheared the power pole in two, leaving the pole hanging by only the tension wires. The driver of the semi-truck did not stop.

The officer sought additional units and conducted a traffic stop. While the officer was approaching the vehicle, a nearby witness spoke with the officer and handed him a brown paper bag containing a partially consumed bottle of alcohol. The witness reported that the driver of the semi-truck had thrown the bag from his vehicle after the crash.

The driver was found to be impaired and taken into custody. The driver of the semi-truck was issued an administrative driving prohibition and several tickets. The result is a 90-day impound of the vehicle, a ticket for driving without due care and attention, a ticket for failing to remain at the scene of a collision and the seizure of the semi-truck driver’s license.

The intersection at Admirals and Esquimalt roads was closed overnight as Esquimalt and BC Hydro crews worked to repair the damage. Morning traffic continued to be impacted as repairs were ongoing.

Esquimalt Mall Theft

On October 29th, officers were called to investigate a theft in a multi-unit residential building in the 800-block of Dunsmuir Road. Officers learned that the suspect had broken into 77 resident mailboxes as well as the manager’s office. Several items, including a laptop and mail were stolen.

Mail can be targeted in attempts to compromise people’s identities for use in frauds. Officers are working with the residents of the building to help warn them about the potential fraud attempts.  This investigation is ongoing.

Suspicious Item in Halloween Candy

On November 1st, Patrol officers were called to the 900-block of Arm Street in Esquimalt for a report that a suspicious item was located in a child’s Halloween candy. A parent located an ammonia inhalant, commonly referred to as “smelling salts”, within their child’s Halloween candy. The family had trick-or-treated in the area of the 900-block of Arm Street and the 700-block of Selkirk Avenue the previous night. Despite extensive media coverage and the completion of a number of neighborhood enquiries, no further similar cases were reported and no one came forward.

Fatal Shooting

On December 22nd, Patrol officers were called to a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 600-block of Grenville Avenue in Esquimalt for a report that a person had been shot. Officers attended the scene and located the victim, who was suffering from life-threatening injuries. BC Emergency Health Services attended and transported the victim to hospital.

The suspect had left the scene prior to police arrival. Patrol officers located and arrested a suspect who was transported to cells at VicPD.

The victim succumbed to their injuries in hospital. This file is now being investigated as a homicide by the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU). This investigation will continue to require extensive resources to complete.  This file remains under investigation.

When compared to Q4 of 2019, this quarter saw a decrease in property crime, crimes against persons (violence), and public disorder and an increase in mental health/attempt suicide calls.

While break and enters have increased since 2018 due to increases in fraud, mischief, and theft of vehicles, there was no significant increase in 2020 from 2019.

While public disorder calls increased slightly in 2020, they have remained relatively steady over the last five years. 2020 saw increases in assaults; disturbances; Bylaw complaints; indecent acts; and weapons, including an increase in bear spray incidents. Decreases were seen in calls related to public intoxication, unwanted persons, fights, and person down calls.

The violence CFS category has seen an upward trend over the last five years, and a considerable increase from 2019 to 2020, led by increase in CFS related to harassments, threats, and extortion. Decreases were seen in sexual assault and robbery CFS.

Other annual trends show an increase in assist mental health, missing person, and attempt suicide calls and a decrease in abandoned 911, alarm, assist other agencies, sudden death, and check wellbeing calls.

Project Holiday Connect

From December 8-18, VicPD launched “Project Holiday Connect”, an initiative aimed at increasing consistent, high-visibility presence around the downtown area, local shopping centres, and parking lots of both Victoria and Esquimalt to deter theft and other holiday shopping-related crime.

The project was staffed by officers on regular duty within VicPD’s Community Services Division (CSD) and Community Resource Officers from Esquimalt Division. Due to COVID-19, members did not go into businesses but engaged with community members from the street. CSD members listened to the concerns of businesses and provided advice on ways to improve personal and commercial safety.  During proactive patrols, members dealt with any on-view street disorder or criminal activity (i.e. trespassers, thefts in progress, etc.). CSD generated a number of files as a result of the project including retail theft, a file involving a stolen dog and bicycle, street-level drug dealing, COVID-Related Measures Act complaints, a robbery involving youth, and a missing person file.  The project was supported by the DVBA, downtown businesses, and the local malls who are regularly calling for more police presence and would be happy to see these types of projects on a regular basis.

In October, Esquimalt Division and VicPD’s hate crime investigators alerted the public and sought witnesses after hate graffiti was discovered at Macaulay Point Park.

In November, the public was alerted after a significant mail theft in Esquimalt in which thieves broke into over 77 mailboxes in one building.

On November 26th, VicPD announced that Insp. Michael Brown will be taking over as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Esquimalt Division, following Insp. Keith Lindner’s retirement. Michael’s formative years were spent in Esquimalt. “Between my parents and my grandparents, I practically grew up in Saxe Point Park,” he said. Both his sets of grandparents were proud Esquimalt military families, and Michael’s father started with the Esquimalt Police and Fire Department in 1971. His father was Chief when he passed away at a young age, and Michael’s leadership of the Esquimalt Division is a homecoming in many ways.

In December, Public Affairs staff partnered with investigators from the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) and our own Investigative Services Division as we informed the public of a fatal shooting in Esquimalt on December 22nd.  Additional witnesses were sought in the ongoing investigation. A suspect was arrested shortly after the incident.

On December 22nd, Esquimalt Community Resource Officers and Esquimalt Lions and Community Members delivered Christmas food hampers to families in need. The Victoria City Police Union graciously donated $1,000 to assist with this worthwhile project, and Country Grocer in Esquimalt assisted with groceries.

In December, we also shared all the entries and winners of the 2020 VicPD Holiday Greeting Card contest.

In October, VicPD’s Public Affairs team continued to support missing persons investigations by reaching out to the public for information; supported the BCACP month-long traffic safety campaign; shared cybersecurity information as part of cybersecurity awareness month; shared information related to COVID-19 in order to keep the public informed; shared information after fishing line was strung up at a popular bike path, and warned the public after high concentration fentanyl was seized, and opioid overdose deaths continued to rise.

In November, Public Affairs supported additional anti-fraud messaging, both related to COVID-19 and financial services representative frauds; supported ICBC’s Pedestrian Safety Campaign; continued to share COVID-19 related public safety messaging; supported and shared the naming of Alexa’s team members; and supported and participated in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

In December, Public Affairs continued to support the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, culminating in the National Day of Action on Violence Against Women and continued to share COVID-19 related public safety messaging over the holidays.

Victoria

Stabbings

On October 26th, Patrol officers and a VicPD K9 team were called to a multi-unit temporary housing facility in the 3000-block of Douglas Street for a report of a stabbing. Officers arrived on scene and located a person who had been stabbed and was suffering from non-life-threatening injuries. BC Emergency Health Services paramedics attended and transported the individual to hospital for treatment.

Officers gathered a description of the suspect and began their search. In addition, a VicPD K9 team was deployed to attempt to track the suspect. After an extensive search, the suspect was not located. Officers from VicPD’s Forensic Identification Unit were called to the scene to process evidence and assist with the investigation.

On Sunday, November 15th, Patrol officers responded to a report of a stabbing in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue. On scene, officers located a person who had been stabbed several times and was suffering from potentially life-threatening injuries. Bystanders provided medical attention to the victim until BC Emergency Health Services paramedics arrived and transported them to hospital. The victim’s injuries were considered non-life-threatening.

On December 6th, Patrol officers responded to a report of a stabbing at the intersection of Gorge Road East and Albany Street. Officers arrived on scene and learned that an altercation with a suspect led to injuries to three victims. One person had been bear sprayed and stabbed and was suffering from potentially life-threatening injuries. Two other victims, who were also involved in the altercation, had been bear sprayed and were suffering from non-life-threatening injuries. BC Emergency Health Services paramedics attended and transported the stabbing victim to hospital.

Officers gathered information and identified an individual whom they believed at the time to be the suspect. Officers located and arrested the suspect within a nearby multi-unit temporary housing facility in the 100-block of Gorge Road East. The suspect was transported to cells and after additional investigation was considered a person of interest, and not a suspect.

COVID-19 Related Measures Act (CRMA) Fines

On November 27th, Patrol officers were called to a grocery store in the 900-block of Yates Street just after 10:30 a.m. for a report that a person had entered the store not wearing a mask. Callers reported that when the individual was offered a mask, they confronted staff and were both verbally and physically confrontational. When Patrol officers arrived, the individual approached them in a threatening manner. The individual was arrested without further incident and transported to cells.

Officers recommended charges including uttering threats and assault with a weapon. Officers also issued the individual a $230 ticket under the CRMA for abusive or belligerent behaviour.

The next day, Patrol officers we called to a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 100-block of South Turner Street for a report of a loud party. On-scene officers spoke with a resident of the suite who stated that there were four people present in the suite, and only two of them were not members of the household. Officers were given permission to enter the suite and found one person hiding in a bedroom on the floor at the foot of a bed, and another person hiding in a closet. The presence of four people who were not members of the household contravened the Provincial Health Officer’s Gathering and Events Order. The residents of the suite were served with a violation ticket for $2,300 under the CRMA for failing to comply with the order. All non-residents were ordered to leave the suite.

Only an hour-and-a-half later, Patrol officers were called to another report of a loud party at a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 1400-block of Hillside Avenue. Officers attended and noticed that the suite’s windows were fogged with condensation, and there was loud music and people yelling inside. Officers spoke with the resident of the suite who admitted there were five guests who were not residents of the suite. Officers observed that masks were not being worn and physical distancing was not taking place. The resident was served a $230 violation ticket under the CRMA for promoting or encouraging attendance at a non-compliant gathering or event.

Handgun and Drug Seizures

On October 8th, Community Services Division (CSD) officers arrested a person who was in possession of trafficking amounts of drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine in the lobby of a multi-unit temporary housing facility in the 3000-block of Blanshard Street. CSD officers then locked down the individual's suite in the building and applied for a search warrant. They executed the search warrant on October 6th and discovered a large amount of drugs and weapons. The drugs include several hundred prescriptions including narcotics, methadone and other drugs belonging to people other than the unit occupant. Officers also located a significant amount of psilocybin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl. A highly realistic replica M4 assault rifle and several realistic replica handguns were seized. Officers also seized several expandable batons, a machete, and a conductive energy weapon. This file remains under investigation.

On December 4th, Patrol officers located a suspect in a drug trafficking investigation in the 700-block of Queens Avenue. The suspect fled from officers on a bicycle and a foot pursuit ensued. The patrol officer gave chase on foot and arrested the suspect in the 2300-block of Government Street.

Officers searched the suspect subsequent to the arrest and located quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, evidence of drug trafficking, knives, and two firearms with ammunition. The firearms were a .38 calibre revolver and a 9 mm rifle. The ammunition was for the 9 mm rifle.

The suspect was subject of conditions of an undertaking which prohibited them from possessing weapons of any kind. The suspect was also found to be in breach of a court-ordered curfew for previous offences. They faces recommended charges of unauthorized possession of a firearm, breach of an undertaking, and obstructing a police officer. The drug trafficking investigation remains ongoing.

On the same day, Patrol officers responded to a multi-unit temporary housing facility for a report that a person with a handgun was threatening people. Officers arrived and began to search for the individual.

A short time later, officers located the individual as they left a room in the facility. The individual and a companion were taken into custody without incident. The investigation revealed that the individual had been in several suites in the facility and officers checked each suite for safety. During these checks, officers located items including a safe containing several thousand dollars in cash, drugs including methamphetamine and fentanyl, and a loaded 9mm handgun. These items were seized as part of the investigation.

The individual was not injured in the arrest, but was transported to hospital at their request for an unrelated medical issue. Their companion was identified and released on scene pending further investigation.

When compared to 2019 Q4, this quarter saw a decrease in property crime calls and public disorder calls. However, the quarter also saw an increase in crimes against the person (violence); Bylaw complaints; calls related to weapons and shots fired, including an increase in Assault with Weapon files; disturbances; sudden death, suicide, Next of Kin notifications; and missing person calls.  This quarter, VicPD conducted 1000 Check Well-beings, which is an increase from 2019 Q4. VicPD also responded to over 300 mental health related calls this quarter, which is double from what we responded to in 2019 Q4.

When compared to 2019, property crime has increased in all categories, except shoplifting. Under the public disorder CFS category, weapons calls  (including an increase in bear spray incidents) and seizures of weapons increased dramatically in 2020 which continues its upward trend over the last three years; overdose calls considerably increased in 2020, almost erasing a four-year downward trend; disturbances and By-law complaints increased in 2020; and public intoxication, fighting, and unwanted persons all had lower calls in 2020 than in 2019.

For a third straight year, VicPD saw increases in crimes against persons led by an increase in assaults, extortions, threats and harassments. However, 2020 also saw an overall decrease in sexual assaults and robberies.

2020 saw sharp increases in the following call types:

  • Assist Mental Health
  • Demonstration/Protests
  • Attempt suicide
  • Sudden death

Strike Force Drug, Cash, and Handgun Seizures

In July, Strike Force initiated a project targeting organized crime in Victoria. In the course of the months-long investigation, officers identified a supply chain of high-concentration fentanyl being trafficked locally.

On the afternoon of October 21st, Strike Force, working with the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT), arrested a suspect associated to organized drug trafficking in the 0-block of Dallas Road. There were no injuries in the arrest. During the arrest officers seized 1 kg of high-concentration fentanyl. Drug analysis by Health Canada revealed the seized kilogram to be an unusually rare, high-concentration of fentanyl. The wholesale value of this kilogram of 90% fentanyl is $140,000. The street value is over $1,000,000. This is enough fentanyl to supply an estimated 495,000 lethal doses to our community.

As part of the same investigation, Strike Force officers, working with GVERT, arrested three people from Surrey on November 13th as a result of a vehicle stop. The three occupants of the vehicle had been identified by Strike Force as organized drug traffickers operating in Victoria.  Strike Force officers searched the vehicle and located drugs, including fentanyl and cocaine, and a significant amount of cash. A Community Services Division (CSD) officer trained in locating hidden vehicle compartments assisted with the search. The officers located a hidden compartment behind the radio and temperature controls on the centre console of the vehicle. Within the compartment, officers located a loaded .45 calibre handgun. The firearm was easily accessible to occupants of the vehicle from within the hidden compartment.

Strike Force officers then executed search warrants on two suites associated to the suspects at a hotel in the 700-block of Douglas Street. Within each suite, officers located evidence of a drug trafficking operation, including quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and cash. In total, the search of the vehicle and two hotel suites yielded nearly $60,000 in cash, cocaine and fentanyl with an estimated street value of $50,000 as well as the loaded .45 calibre handgun.

Joint Force Operation Results in $30,000,000 Seizure of Drugs, Weapons, and Cash

In early June, VicPD’s Strike Force team identified an organized crime group trafficking fentanyl in Victoria. In August, Strike Force investigators approached CFSEU-BC’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force (ATTF) with this information, and the two agencies initiated a Joint Forces Operation agreement. In August, a coordinated, joint investigation dubbed “Project Juliet” was launched. Strike Force officers focused on the group trafficking fentanyl in Victoria, and CFSEU-BC targeted the individuals associated to the lower mainland fentanyl trafficking operation and supply chain.

On November 17th, Strike Force and CFSEU-BC officers conducted coordinated enforcement actions in Victoria and the lower mainland targeting the suspects in this investigation.

In Victoria, VicPD’s Strike Force, working with VicPD’s Community Services Division, CFSEU-BC’s Island Team, and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT), executed four search warrants on three separate residential locations and one vehicle. Two individuals were arrested. On the lower mainland, CFSEU-BC, working with the Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET), Surrey RCMP, and the Vancouver Police Department’s Emergency Response Team and Forensic Identification Unit, executed five search warrants on three separate residential locations and two vehicles. One individual was arrested.

In total, officers seized 20 firearms in this investigation, ranging from pistols and shotguns to assault style rifles. Several of these rifles were modified to be fully automatic, and many of the firearms had serial numbers removed. The estimated total street value of the seized cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine, and high-concentration fentanyl in this joint operation is approximately $30,000,000. Officers seized high-concentration fentanyl in both bulk and street level quantities. The more than 12 kg of high-concentration fentanyl seized in total in this investigation is enough to supply an estimated 3,965,000 lethal doses.

The investigation remains ongoing. Strike Force and CFSEU-BC will be recommending drug trafficking and firearms charges against one person from Calgary, one person from Surrey, and one person from Vancouver.

Project Holiday Connect

From December 8-18, VicPD launched “Project Holiday Connect”, an initiative aimed at increasing consistent, high-visibility presence around the downtown area, local shopping centres, and parkades of both Victoria and Esquimalt to deter theft and other holiday shopping-related crime.

The project was staffed by officers on regular duty within VicPD’s Community Services Division and Community Resource Officers from Esquimalt Division. Due to COVID-19, members did not go into businesses but engaged with community members from the street. CSD members listened to the concerns of businesses and provided advice on ways to improve personal and commercial safety.  During proactive patrols, members dealt with any on-view street disorder or criminal activity (i.e. trespassers, thefts in progress, etc.). CSD generated a number of files as a result of the project including retail theft, a file involving a stolen dog and bicycle, street-level drug dealing, COVID-Related Measures Act complaints, a robbery involving youth, and a missing person file.  The project was supported by the DVBA, Downtown businesses, and the local malls who are regularly calling for more police presence and would be happy to see these types of projects on a regular basis.

October

In October, Public Affairs shared information regarding high-risk sex offender Scott Jones, who was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for unlawfully being at large. Jones was identified and arrested a few days later. In early October, VicPD honoured Fadil Rashead with the VicPD Civic Service Award, for his vital help in spotting Jones, leading to Jones’ arrest. The Civic Service Award ceremony was held in VicPD’s Hall of Honour, in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions.

Public Affairs provided updates and answered public and media questions after a person went missing in the Inner Harbour on October 15th, and was rescued, alive, several hours later.

The results of our 2020 VicPD Community Survey were released on October 21st. The 2020 Community Survey results were highlighted in an online video outlining the findings through the same presentation given to the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board, and both the Township of Esquimalt and City of Victoria councils. Our #OpenVicPD campaign also continued through October, with a special focus on the result of the VicPD Community Survey.

November

In November, the Public Affairs team alerted the public and reminded patrons of their responsibilities after investigations led to fines being issued to business patrons, party hosts and others who refused to follow the CRMA requirements.

The Public Affairs team also reached out to victims on behalf of investigators after a November 5th arson at the Capital City Centre Hotel led to injuries and left many residents, already being sheltered, without immediate housing.

Chief Del Manak presented three high school students, Ahmad Al Shehab, Al Baraa Al Homsi and Majeed Sultan with the VicPD Civic Service Award for their life-saving response to an opioid overdose in a high school bathroom. The three students were honoured in a COVID-19 aware ceremony in our Hall of Honour.

VicPD recognized the tremendous work of our partners at Restorative Justice Victoria as we celebrated restorative justice week.

December

In December, Public Affairs alerted the public after a series of “gold scam” attempts targeting people in Victoria. Public Affairs also assisted hate crime investigators after witness reported a man shouting racial slurs at a Black man on a BC Transit bus. While the victim had not come forward to police, the witness’ report led investigators to seek out both the victim and additional information in efforts to identify the suspect.

Following reports of presents being stolen while left unattended in vehicles, Public Affairs staff reissued a holiday alert, along with an existing video showing how quickly Grinches can ruin one’s holidays.

We shared all the entries and winners of the 2020 VicPD Holiday Greeting Card contest.

Public Affairs staff warned the public after a suspicious device was discovered on a popular Victoria walking path on Christmas Day. People in the area were alerted in advance of the controlled demolition of the suspected pipe bomb.

Lastly, in support of requests by the Patrol Division, pre-New Year’s Eve reminders of BC COVID-19 related restrictions on gatherings were shared with the public.

In October, VicPD’s Public Affairs team continued to support missing persons investigations by reaching out to the public for information; supported the BCACP month-long traffic safety campaign; shared cybersecurity information as part of cybersecurity awareness month; shared information related to COVID-19 in order to keep the public informed; shared information after fishing line was strung up at a popular bike path, and warned the public after high concentration fentanyl was seized, and opioid overdose deaths continued to rise.

In November, Public Affairs supported additional anti-fraud messaging, both related to COVID-19 and financial services representative frauds; supported ICBC’s Pedestrian Safety Campaign; continued to share COVID-19 related public safety messaging; supported and shared the naming of Alexa’s team members; and supported and participated in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

In December, Public Affairs continued to support the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, culminating in the National Day of Action on Violence Against Women and continued to share COVID-19 related public safety messaging over the holidays.

VicPD

VicPD continues to make progress towards the goals outlined in Strategic Plan 2020.  Specifically, in Q4, the following goal-specific work was accomplished:

Support Community Safety

  • Community Resource Officers have been highly engaged with the business community and the supportive housing and encampment locations.
  • VicPD presented to the Esquimalt Public Safety Working Group to demonstrate new software to track and help investigate graffiti offences.
  • COVID-19 resulted in changes to service delivery to our citizens, including the closing of the lobbies at both the headquarters building and at Esquimalt Division, a suspension of our Volunteer program, and a reduction of our Reserve program.

Enhance Public Trust

  • VicPD continued to engage with the community and build relationships through proactive patrols, a high-visibility presence, and virtual community meetings.
  • VicPD completed its 2020 VicPD Community Survey, which indicated an 86% satisfaction rate with the service provided by VicPD.
  • Open VicPD was launched, which is a one-stop hub for information that includes our new VicPD Community Dashboard, our online Community Safety Report Cards, and other information that tells the story of how VicPD is working towards our strategic vision of “A Safer Community Together.”

Achieve Organizational Excellence

  • Work progressed in partnership with Island Health regarding the exploration of alternative responses to mental health calls.
  • Our Diversity, Inclusion, and Respectful Workplace Committee has been active in Q4, with a current focus on building a process to collect organizational demographic information.
  • Extensive COVID-19 precautions continue to be in effect department-wide and have kept our staff safe and effective in their duties.

VicPD continues to be impacted by a high number of non-deployable or semi-deployable officers resulting from injuries. We are continuing to make adjustments to keep officers in front-line policing positions wherever possible in order to ensure front-line services can be reasonably delivered. VicPD Human Resources staff, with the support of management and the Police Board, continue to work on ways to improve timelines for return to work and ensure that third-party processes and resources are efficient and appropriate.

Public Affairs

Throughout Q4, Public Affairs continued to share Island Health’s information about drug toxicity and overdose concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also continued to share messaging from the BCCDC about masks, social distancing, and good hygiene practices.

We warned the community about the presence of high concentration fentanyl after enough to supply millions of lethal doses were seized in two different investigations.

Much of our community harm prevention outreach this quarter was linked directly to active files and investigations where time and again we relied on partnerships with the public to help locate dangerous offenders. These partnerships have prevented additional harms in many circumstances.

Early Warning System

Members of Community Services Division (CSD) and the Analysis and Intelligence Section (AIS) participate in a weekly Early Warning System (EWS) meeting to discuss individuals who are frequently coming to the attention of the police and service providers or who may be decompensating in the community. The discussion is generated by the client’s behaviour; the group identifies those that are decompensating and who is in the best position to help them. Generally, the clients that come to the group’s attention are entrenched in the core, but some reside in Esquimalt.   Traditionally, the EWS receives participation from AIS, Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team (IMCRT), Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team members, and the CSD Inspector.  In order to enhance the effectiveness of the meeting and subsequent follow up required, CSD invited representatives from Island Health’s "Orange Backpack" outreach staff.  This new group assists street-entrenched individuals in the various encampments that have emerged throughout the pandemic.  Their addition to the EWS group has been welcome, as they are often in a position to assist individuals who are discussed at the meetings.

Beacon Hill Park Deployment

In early 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Victoria made amendments to the overnight sheltering bylaws to allow 24/7 sheltering in city parks, removing the necessity to collapse and remove a sheltering structure each day at 7 a.m. However, restrictions pertaining to size and usage restrictions (sheltering only) remained in place. Some non-compliant structures were erected in the park, and despite the best efforts of Bylaw to gain voluntary compliance, the structures were identified for removal per the Parks Regulations Bylaw.

On November 20, 2020, the Victoria Police Department assisted the City of Victoria (COV), and City of Victoria Bylaw with the enforcement of existing bylaws in Beacon Hill Park.

The primary role of VicPD was to keep the peace while City of Victoria Bylaw and contractors removed and impounded unauthorized structures from the park. VicPD established a police exclusionary zone to provide a measure of safety for COV staff, Bylaw Officers, and contractors to conduct the work. Three structures were removed: two temporary garage style tent structures (referred to as “community tents”); and a shower structure including a large cistern and water heating equipment. During the removal of the shower structure, one person was arrested for obstructing and assaulting a police officer.

Impaired Driving Enforcement

The Community Services Division (CSD) Traffic NCO, members of the Traffic Division, and Patrol conducted a number of ICBC Roadblocks throughout the holiday season.  The purpose of the Roadblocks was to promote road safety and to target impaired driving.  Compared to 2019, the number of impaired files was greatly reduced due to the fact that bars were closed and restaurants had to shut down alcohol service by 10:30 p.m. In comparison, the number of violation tickets increased from 2019, including files for excessive speed and no insurance. Victoria traffic also conducted roaming enforcement in the City of Victoria and the Township of Esquimalt for the first portion of the duty and concluded with static roadblocks for the remainder. Roaming enforcement proved to be far more successful this year in locating and removing impaired drivers compared to static roadblocks which had limited success.

Reporting related to theft (over $5,000), mischief (over $5,000), and attempted break and enter have been added to the online reporting as a result of COVID-19. Thefts, mischiefs, and fraud calls that are $5,000 or less with no suspect information are no longer dispatched to officers. These reports are cleared to our Records section who write the reports.

VicPD is continuing to work with the Victoria City Police Union on modifications to schedules and resource deployment to best match resources to workload.  Some changes will be implemented for January 2021 on a trial basis.

The City of Victoria is finalizing year end entries for 2020 and the final audited numbers may differ slightly.

At the end of the fiscal year, we expect the net financial position to be a net deficit of approximately $32,984, representing a variance of approximately 0.05% from the budget. Contributing factors included increased expenditures in relation to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of employees, a significant number of retirements, reduced records revenue due to COVID-19 interruptions to operations, and unexpected increases to costs in relation to 911 and dispatch services. As retirement expenditures were more than $325,000 higher than budgeted, this minor deficit will likely be funded through a draw down from the Employee Benefit Obligation fund.