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Victoria police report ‘significant decline’ in calls for youth-related violence

No incidents of violence or vandalism reported during past two weeks
The Victoria Police Department has seen a decline in youth violence since issuing a warning in May for swarms of youth flocking downtown. (Black Press Media file photo)

Youth violence in Greater Victoria has seen a decline since the Victoria Police Department issued a May warning.

VicPD said in a release that its team responding to youth violence has seen a “significant decline” in calls for violence or vandalism linked to groups of youths gathering in downtown Victoria.

“There have been no reported incidents of violence or vandalism associated with groups of youth gathering downtown for a two-week period.”

The release noted police responded to calls involving violent offences and vandalism linked to large groups of youths gathering in downtown Victoria and consuming drugs and alcohol for a nine-week period. This response resulted in 60 investigations and 24 arrests ranging from public intoxication to possession of weapons, assault, assault with a weapon and mischief.

VicPD did specify how this compared to a typical number of calls for this time of year.

READ MORE: Victoria police report swarms of youth flocking to Victoria to commit crimes

Police described some of the assaults since May, including a random attack where a group of 25 youths swarmed a 70-year-old man and left him with non-life-threatening but significant facial injuries after the youth kicked, punched and spat on him.

Another attack described in the release saw a group of youth swarm and choke a woman. Police also described how youths swarmed a VicPD officer, as he was arresting a youth wearing a balaclava, armed with bear spray and knives.

“The officer was responding to a call for multiple youths engaged in a ‘bear spray fight.’”

Police also seized a range of weapons including significant amounts of bear spray, pepper spray and numerous knives.

The majority of youth involved were from across Greater Victoria, according to the release, which noted officers from different VicPD departments, as well as other departments and authorities, had responded to these calls.

Black Press has reached out to VicPD for additional details.

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