Report On Calls For Police Service: “Tent City” & Surrounding Area

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

As a result of numerous requests from the community and the media, this report provides information on calls for police service in the following categories:

  • Calls for police service by month, and
  • Calls for police service by call type in the area of “Tent City”

The “Tent City” area was defined using an approximate radius of three blocks, with the courthouse greenspace at the centre. While this data reflects calls for service in the noted area, it does not necessarily mean that all of the calls are related to or caused by the “Tent City” encampment.

The data has been extracted from our records management system, and only represents incidents that have been reported to police. It is also important to note that data less than 6-8 weeks old is subject to change, due to the investigative and review process which sometimes results in call types being amended after their initial entry.

Between November 2014 and April 2015, there were 521 calls for police service in the “Tent City” area. There were 18,082 calls throughout Victoria and Esquimalt during that time.

Between November 2015 and April 2016, there were 760 calls for police service in the “Tent City” area. There were 18,735 calls throughout Victoria and Esquimalt during that time.

Chart #1 shows a line graph comparison of calls for police service from November 2014 through April 2015 compared to November 2015 to April 2016.

Chart #2 shows a bar graph comparison of calls for police service by incident type from November 2014 through April 2015 compared to November 2015 to April 2016.

Examples of call types in each category:

Assist – Abandoned 911, assist fire department/police, unwanted person.
Public Disorder – Causing a disturbance, noise bylaw, liquor act, weapons possession
Other – Missing persons, warrant arrests, parking violations
Property – Break and enter, fraud, theft
Violence – Assaults, harassment, uttering threats
Traffic – Driving prohibitions, collisions, alcohol driving offences
Drugs – Drug seizure, drug possession, drug trafficking

As a result of the numerous issues that have arisen in relation to the “Tent City” area, the Victoria Police Department has been engaged in a comprehensive response that includes regular attendance at “Tent City” as well as increased patrols in the general area.
Officers have been specifically assigned to liaise with the “Tent City” occupants to ensure that safety concerns within the camp are addressed. This work has included the creation of a safety committee that involves representatives from the Victoria Fire Department, the provincial government, and local service providers.

Moving forward, VicPD will continue to be responsive to the concerns expressed by the community. This may include increased police presence proportionate to the circumstances.