Communication breakdown blamed for gap in public notice of found syringe in Victoria parkade


The City of Victoria is blaming a communication breakdown on the gap between when a syringe and needle was found in a downtown parkade and when the public was notified. Mary Griffin reports.

City of Victoria officials said Tuesday it was a breakdown in communications that led to a two-month gap between the time a syringe was found taped to the handrail of a downtown parkade and when the public was notified.

On April 17, a security guard at a city parkade found a needle taped to the handrail of a downtown parkade. He photographed his discovery and Victoria police were notified the next day.

“Concerning. But again, we have to be able to attend,” Cst. Matt Rutherford, VicPD spokesperson, said.

“Collect evidence. Conduct an investigation. And that’s why we encourage people to report instances like this right away to us.”

But no one at city hall, or members of the public, knew about it until the picture was posted on social media earlier this week. The photo was almost two-months-old.

READ MORE: City says photo of needle taped to handrail in Victoria not a hoax, object discovered in April

But city officials, like Parking Manager Thomas Solliere, only found out about it Monday.

“I think in large part because of the social media post that was generated earlier this week,” Solliere said.

“That caused a review within the city in terms of what information was known when. And we continue to investigate that with our security provider.”

Solliere says a review of all communications management at the city is underway.

“In terms of advising, if something like of a public safety nature is found, certainly advising police is one step,” Solliere said.

“But also escalating within the city leadership team is another action that needs to be taken.”

The city now patrols the parkade hourly and is reviewing all its surveillance video.

But the time gap between discovery and reporting is troubling, Solliere said.

“I personally found out about this yesterday,” he said.

“Is that acceptable? No, it is not.”

If anyone has information, they are asked to contact Victoria police.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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