Residents near the Panama Flats are concerned after a massive group of teenagers were seen roaming near Northridge School in Saanich late Friday night.
A video circulating on social media shows a large group of teens walking down a suburban street. In the video, the teens can be heard talking loudly, and in some cases swearing and using profane language.
Sarah Wakefield told CHEK she lives on nearby Carey Road and saw the teenagers at around 10 p.m. heading down her street.
“They were filing passed the house for about an hour. They woke me and my daughter up, and my tenant as well,” recalled Wakefield.
The Saanich resident said based on what she saw, the teens were generally well behaved as there was no vandalism or violence.
“It was just loud talking in the streets. There was a bus stop in front of the house so they spent some time out there, just dozens of them. It was just a constant stream of people in different clusters of groups,” said Wakefield.
However, one neighbour, who said they didn’t feel safe to go on camera, told CHEK they were threatened with a knife and assaulted by one of the teens. They also claim it took Saanich police officers 40 minutes to arrive.
Saanich PD did respond to CHEK’s request for comment prior to publication.
Another resident, Nolan Dittmer, said there were so many kids walking that he had to slow his truck down in order to avoid hitting any of them.
“We see a huge group of kids, two to 300 hundred kids, over on the sidewalk. I have no idea where they were going, they were just going out and about on the street. It looked pretty rambunctious. They were making a lot of noise,” he said, adding. “As we were driving by there was just so many people, I had to slow down my truck just so I didn’t hit anybody. It was pretty intense.”
With all the sacrifices people have made during the pandemic and the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Wakefield said the teens’ behaviour was disheartening to see.
“Millions of people around the world have been sacrificing and to see this sort of event with people getting together its dishearting. It’s disheartening to say the least,” said Wakefield.
“It was shocking. I wouldn’t say I am outraged, I am just disappointed.”
Wakefield also said this isn’t the first time a large group of teenagers have been seen or heard wandering around the neighbourhood. She said she heard a similar situation last weekend, but didn’t actually see the teens.
“I didn’t see it last weekend but I heard it,” she said. “This is the first time that they actually passed by our house.”
The number of new COVID-19 cases in B.C. has skyrocketed in recent days, with the province reporting more than 200 new cases this past week.
Health officials have expressed concerns about the number of cases in young people and announced plans to crack down on private parties this weekend.
Wakefield said she isn’t entirely sure what the solution is but believes something more needs to be done.
“Maybe its the parents getting more involved with what the kids are doing after 10 p.m. at night,” she said. “I am not really sure. Maybe the police could pull them aside and speak to them and their parents and provide more education to their parents. That might mean singling some people out but maybe that is what is needed.”