May 20th Report On Calls For Police Service: “Tent City” & Surrounding Area

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

As a result of continued public interest in calls for police service in and around the “Tent City” area, this report provides information on calls for police service by month and call type in the area of “Tent City.”

The “Tent City” area is defined using an approximate radius of three blocks, with the BC 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 the “Tent City” encampment.

The data has been extracted from the VicPD records management system and only represents incidents that have been reported to police. Data less than 6 to 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.

It is important to note that the information contained in this report represents calls for service to the police department. Calls for service reports represent a snapshot of reported incidents that have some type of impact on the community as compared with crime statistics alone. Calls for service include reports received by the public to police and incidents that are witnessed by officers and result in some type of police action. Calls for service represent both incidents that would be considered violations of federal criminal law (crimes) and situations that would be considered incidents of disorder that have an impact on the community (but are not necessarily crimes). Any reporting of this information should refer to this information as “calls-for-service” statistics, not “crime statistics.”

As a result of the ongoing issues 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. It should be noted that the assignment of two special duty officers to the area commenced on May 21, 2016, immediately following the last day of the reporting period for this report.

Between November 15, 2014 and May 20, 2015, there were 654 calls for police service in the “Tent City” area. There were 31,015 calls throughout Victoria and Esquimalt during that time.

Between November 15, 2015 and May 20, 2016, there were 1071 calls for police service in the “Tent City” area. There were 31,023 calls throughout Victoria and Esquimalt during that time.

Chart 1, Calls For Service By Victoria Police Report Period, shows a line graph comparison of calls for police service from November 15, 2014 through May 20, 2015 compared to November 15, 2015 to May 20, 2016. Note that the reporting periods reflect the 28-day cycle used by the VicPD Strategic Operations Council for intelligence-led policing throughout Victoria and Esquimalt.

Chart 2, Calls by Category to Tent City, shows a bar graph comparison of calls for police service by incident type from April 23 to May 20, 2015 compared to April 23 to May 20, 2016.

Examples of call types in each category:

Assist – Abandoned 911, assist fire department/police, check wellbeing

Public Disorder – Causing a disturbance, noise bylaw, liquor act, weapons possession

Other – Missing persons, warrant arrests, suspicious circumstances

Property – Break and enter, fraud, theft, theft from vehicle

Violence – Assaults, harassment, uttering threats

Traffic – Driving prohibitions, collisions, alcohol driving offences

Drugs – Drug seizure, drug possession, drug trafficking