Victoria police arrest youths amid weekend crackdown in downtown core

Victoria police say they arrested six youths on Friday night and two on Saturday as the force aims to crack down on teens behaving badly.

VicPD social media channels show most of the arrests were for vandalism and intoxication.

Victoria police say downtown businesses have noticed a stark increase in crimes committed by young people in the downtown core over the past month.

Including this weekend, Victoria police say they have investigated over 30 such crimes. They span from public intoxication to serious assaults, including one where a senior was reportedly swarmed and beaten by a large group of youngsters.

One of the more challenging roles for tonight's Jail Sergeant is calling parents & having them come down to collect their teens. #VicPDLive

— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) May 14, 2022

Police say this weekend represented a decrease in calls from the three weekends before it, but still continued the trend.

VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko says officers took time to speak with teens over the past several days and asked them why they were descending on the core en masse.

While we aren't doing #VicPDLive tonight, officers are returning to downtown #yyj hotspots as we continue to respond to concerns about youth violence & vandalism, seizing alcohol, drugs & weapons as needed. pic.twitter.com/SxycLjwJ7y

— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) May 14, 2022

“One of them, who was from outside of Victoria from one of the surrounding municipalities, indicated over the past couple of years they have really been pent up inside and haven’t really had a chance to socialize,” said Osoko.

Officers were also told that many activities young people took part in remain shut down during the pandemic.

Sadly, 1st arrest of the night. An impaired youth was damaging property in a parking lot on Store St. Breaching conditions & in possession of cannabis while underage. Seized along w a knife. #VicPDLive pic.twitter.com/MpJiInGTBh

— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) May 14, 2022

VicPD is now planning to meet with Greater Victoria School District officials to discuss the issues young people are causing downtown.