Victoria businesses expressing concern regarding spike in Break and Enters
VICTORIA -- Break and enters at businesses increased 567 per cent between March and May, when compared to the same period last year.
According to crime statistics released by the Victoria Police, there have been 80 attempted break and enters at local businesses since March, while there were just twelve in the same period last year.
At the City of Victoria's Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, the executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association Jeff Bray told city council that local businesses continue to express their concern about crime.
"During the initial close down of downtown, unfortunately we saw a significant increase in both smash and grabs, and more coordinated break and enters into our businesses." said Bray. "The concern that had been among those who have shops and restaurants downtown, unfortunately has heightened significantly since February."
Bray says that the focus needs to be on a downtown that's safe and welcoming for everyone, and that his members are concerned that downtown crime may deter those who already may be wary of returning downtown due to COVID-19.
"When people come downtown and see a significant amount of camping or other situations, it will make them feel less safe, and that will be detrimental to some of our small and medium sized businesses."
The Victoria Police have also responded to an increased number of calls regarding Mischief (40 per cent), Robbery (56 per cent), and Theft from Vehicles (26 per cent), among others.